Mobile phone reception at Parliament House has long been a bugbear for MPs and journalists, and new Senator James Paterson has wasted no time in trying to do something about it. In last week’s Senate estimates hearing covering the government’s mobile black spots program, designed to help rural areas with no phone reception, Paterson asked acting deputy secretary Richard Windeyer if Australia’s home of governance could get in on the program:

Senator PATERSON: I just have one quick follow-up question. Would Parliament House be eligible for the Mobile Black Spot Program?


Senator PATERSON: I am seriously struggling with my reception–

CHAIR: You are not the only one!

Senator PATERSON: I am new, so it is frustrating me very much!

Mr WINDEYER: I know, it is–

CHAIR: In fact, I have one bar at the moment on my–

Senator PATERSON: Yes, I have one bar too. We are lucky that we have one!

Mr WINDEYER: I am sorry; Canberra is not a regional location–

Senator PATERSON: It is the ‘Bush Capital’!

While Paterson and other pollies will have to deal with one bar of reception, Australians in rural areas will at least get mobile reception the next time there’s a bushfire threat.