HORSHAM Rural City councillor and Wartook Valley resident David Grimble hopes an $11-million state government commitment will help fix mobile blackspots in the Wimmera.
The government announced the money in the state budget on Wednesday afternoon.
The money will go towards removing coverage blackspots in fire and flood-prone areas to increase safety and support regional economies.
Horsham Rural City Council has submitted an application to the federal government’s mobile phone blackspot program for Wartook Valley.
The area missed out on funding in round one last year.
Cr Grimble, who lives on a farm at Brimpaen, said he hoped the high fire risk area would be in line for a share of the state government money.
“The federal government’s blackspot program was looking for leveraged investments from state and local governments, so it’s great to see a state government contribution,” he said.
“If we’re lucky enough to get a slice of their pie, that’s a great outcome.
“Somewhere a community will benefit from the money, and hopefully it will be one of ours.”
Horsham council has committed $10,000 from its budget to supplement its federal government blackspots application.
Cr Grimble said council would continue to push its case in the lead-up to when submissions closed in June.
“We'll keep the issue front and centre,” he said.
“Given the fact Andrew Broad nominated Wartook Valley as his number one priority for blackspot funding, I’m hopeful we’ll meet the criteria the second time around.
“It’s about being persistent.”
Laharum farmer Glenn Mibus said people should not get too excited about the state government money.
He said it was only a tiny portion of what was needed to address mobile phone blackspots.
“Until the federal money comes through, it’s pie in the sky stuff really,” he said.
”The federal money is the big-ticket item.”