Tel­stra lis­tens to Dain­tree phone night­mares

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

MORE than 100 Dain­tree lo­cals turned out to hear Tel­stra Coun­try­wide ex­ec­u­tive Amanda Al­bom prom­ise to do all she could to fix their telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion night­mares.

But for the mo­ment it will be busi­ness - or a lack of it due to poor telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions - as usual un­til a so­lu­tion is found.

“It was one of the big­gest pub­lic meet­ings we’ve had in years,” or­gan­iser Rus­sell O’Do­herty said.

“That just shows how big this is­sue is,” he said.

“Ev­ery­one had a story to tell.

“One bloke said he had lost thou­sands of dol­lars of busi­ness just through EFT­POS ser­vices be­ing un­avail­able.”

Many mem­bers of the com­mu­nity say they have suf­fered ma­jor dis­rup­tions to their phone ser­vices since the wet sea­son be­gan.

“It’s been a shocker of a year for light­ning strikes,” Dain­tree Moun­tain View Hol­i­day Re­treat owner Rus­sell O’Do­herty said.

“We’ve prob­a­bly had phone ser­vice for three weeks since Christ­mas, and there was one bloke who said he’d only been able to use his phones for 10 days in three months.”

While Ms Al­bom didn’t of­fer any im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion to the prob­lems of in­ter­mit­tent ser­vice and slow re­pair times, she did of­fer to solve all out­stand­ing is­sues as quickly as pos­si­ble and to ex­am­ine lo­ca­tions for mo­bile phone tow­ers at both Cape Tribu­la­tion and Cow Bay.

“I got the feel­ing (Ms Al­bom) was se­ri­ous,” Mr O’Do­herty said.

“She ac­knowl­edged Tel­stra needed to put in an ex­tra mo­bile tower, but that’s al­ways dif­fi­cult in a na­tional park.

“War­ren Entsch, who was also at the meet­ing, said he would lobby the Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ments, as well as the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and the Wet Trop­ics Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity.”

Mr O’Do­herty said Bai­ley’s Hill was an “ob­vi­ous” lo­ca­tion for a mo­bile phone tower.

“You’ve got di­rect line of sight from the Alexandra Range pretty much all the way to Cook­town,” he said.

Mr Entsch, the fed­eral Mem­ber for Le­ich­hardt, also promised to con­nect the lo­cal com­mu­nity to the rest of the coun­try via a fi­bre-op­tic cable and un­der­ground grid power, if the Coali­tion is elected at the fed­eral level.

“Well, that was the plan,” one wit­ness said.

“Whether it’ll ever hap­pen or not, that’s some­thing else com­pletely.”

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