RURAL residents in fire-prone areas should have better mobile phone coverage following the roll out of the National Broadband Network.
Acting Minister for Communications Senator Kim Carr told The Weekly Times while mobile coverage was "a commercial decision made by mobile providers" the NBN could be used to improve coverage.
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His comments follow concerns from Acting Premier Peter Ryan about some residents in the path of bushfires not receiving text message alerts last week.
Mr Ryan said he would write to federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to urge him to "consider the safety of Victorian communities."
"If people are living in an area where mobile coverage is poor, intermittent or inconsistent, they're unlikely to receive the alert on their mobile phone.
However, he said it was important people in fire-prone areas got information from multiple sources.
Mr Ryan's announcement of an investigation into the text message failure comes as Chepstowe residents begin the long road to recovery following a fire which razed homes and farms last week.
The fire, thought to have been started by a spark from a farmer's vehicle, destroyed nine houses - including the historic Carngham Station - 1150ha of private land, 643 sheep and 60 cattle, and about 100km of fencing, numerous fire sheds and hay bales.
A further 120ha of pasture was lost in a fire at Goroke last week while a 12,000ha fire at Kentbruck near Heywood in the state's south west burnt mostly public bushland, and 1200ha of privately-owned pine trees.
More than 400 people fought this fire which was about one kilometre from the area of Drik Drik, according to Country Fire Authority long-time volunteer Andy Cusack.
Mr Cusack, who was incident controller for part of the fire operation said the terrain made fighting the fire very difficult.
Department of Primary Industries rural recovery co-ordinator Phil Franklin said DPI recovery officers were working with property owners around Chepstowe, particularly with deciding to put down stock if required.