Cable cock-up left up to locals for temporary fix
A TELSTRA telephone cable at High Falls Farm was rescued from a raging torrent in the Whyanbeel Creek after recent floods uprooted the cable’s support posts.
What followed between Telstra and the Cairns Regional Council can only be described as “farcial”, according to one of the residents John Gray.
“When it floods here the creek becomes a raging torrent and it just rips through here and this time it uprooted the poles supporting the phone cable and dumped it in the creek with all sorts of debris collecting around the cable and we thought it would tear the cable apart and so cut off our only means of communication to town,” Mr Gray said.
“I called the Cairns Regional Council’s Mossman office and told them about the problem and they told me that because it was a Telstra cable the council could not do anything about clearing the creek until the cable was removed because it was a safety issue.
“I told them there was no power in the cable because it was only a phone cable but they said owing to OH&S issues workers would not remove any debris until the cable was removed first.
“So, I called Telstra and they told me that their workers would not remove the fallen cable until council workers first removed the debris covering the cable.”
In the end, Mr Gray had no choice but to knock on the doors of the residents and ask them to grab their chainsaws and to help him cut up and remove the logs and other rubbish from the cable.
“After we cleared away the rubbish we managed to get the cable out of the creek and back up on to make-shift poles and tied up with pieces of nylon rope,” Mr Gray said.
“But you have to remember this is very difficult terrain to work in and none of us have the mechanical equipment like the council or Telstra do to do the job properly which they should have done in the first place and not leave it up to us.
“Shame on the council and shame on Telstra.”