State government fund Sevenhill Optus tower

Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock, Sevenhill publican Paul Longbottom and Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher.
Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock, Sevenhill publican Paul Longbottom and Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher.

Sevenhill will soon have a stronger connection to the outside world due to the state government’s commitment of more than $200,000 towards a new Optus mobile tower.

The area – which had been identified as “high risk” by the state government – was not picked up and commissioned by the federal government's Mobile Black Spots Program. 

Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher said the state government was now pursuing the project by using money from its Regional Development Fund.

“We’ve decided to go it alone and fund a number of (mobile towers) without federal government support,” Mr Maher said.

More than 2000 residences would be covered by the tower’s expected 10-kilometre radius and all mobile phones within range – whatever the carrier – would be able to make emergency calls.

Towers in Wasleys, Yahl and Blanchetown were also commissioned.

Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said it was disappointing that the federal government was not involved in this project.

“Now we’ve got this one here ... it’s a start and it's going to be really good for Sevenhill specifically,” Mr Brock said.

A completion date was yet to be established for the tower but Mr Brock said they would be working hard to ensure it was “up and running” as soon as possible.

A spokesperson for the federal Regional Communications Minister Fiona Nash said the SA government contributed less to the black spot program compared to other stats, but had still received federal support at other locations.

“South Australian Labor chose not to contribute to round one of the federal coalition’s Mobile Black Spots Program and received 11 of 499 towers as a result,” the spokesperson said.