It has taken just over five years for local TV man Barry O’Mara to say Yass and Bowning could have clear reception within a month.
During the federal election, liberal candidate Peter Hendy promised to fund two UHF retransmission towers costing $60,000. While Mr Hendy was unable to secure his seat as the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, his pre-election promises are still valid.
Senator Fiona Nash and Minister for Regional Communication wrote to Yass Council, Mayor Rowena Abbey and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward confirming funding through a Community Development Grants program.
“There is still an application process to go through before the funding for this particular project is 100 per cent confirmed,” Council’s General Manager, David Rowe said. “The funding will be made available through the Community Development Grants program ... An application for this program is now being prepared by Council.”
Ms Goward says the issue is one that is close to home.
“I know how important this is. I strongly believe it is outrageous that within 80 km of our nation’s capital that our residents could not watch the nightly news or see what was going in in the world,” she said.
For Mr O’Mara, the confirmation comes after years of frustration.
“I’m just over the moon, it’s been a long time coming and it is fabulous the federal government is honoring its pledge for the Yass Valley,” he said. “Once we get the money it should only take a month to get the first tower.”
The first tower will be located at Yass Waterworks and the second on Bowning Hill, locations identified by a contractor employed by the Yass Council last year.
During the federal election Mayor Rowena Abbey and council secured funding from the Coalition, she said Minister Nash’s validation of the funds is welcomed.
“This has been a long and ongoing battle for the community and it’s great news the coalition is going to honor the commitment,” she said.