The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - BEN WATER­WORTH

RES­I­DENTS in Maydena will still be able to get pub­lic ac­cess to the in­ter­net, de­spite the town’s on­line ac­cess cen­tre of­fi­cially clos­ing its doors to­mor­row.

The Maydena Post Of­fice will run one of the com­put­ers that was pre­vi­ously in the MOAC along­side an­other com­puter pro­vided by the post of­fice.

Post Of­fice li­censee Keith Ir­win said it was im­por­tant res­i­dents in the town were still able to get in­ter­net ac­cess.

”We're ready to run with the ser­vice when they close,” he said.

“The Govern­ment made the de­ci­sion they were go­ing to close it in De­cem­ber so as a com­mu­nity ser­vice we sim­ply vol­un­teered af­ter be­ing asked by the com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion. They asked us if we were happy to put the com­puter and prin­ter in the post of­fice for peo­ple to use and we said ‘yes’.”

Users who have a Health Care Card will be able to use the com­put­ers for free for up to two hours on week­days, while res­i­dents with­out a health card will be charged a small fee.

Pre­vi­ously res­i­dents were able to ac­cess com­put­ers at the MOAC for free with small charges for print­ing and “other in­ci­den­tals” ac­cord­ing to LINC Tas­ma­nia.

Mr Ir­win said the charges would go to­wards help­ing with the run­ning of the com­put­ers in the post of­fice.

“Mainly peo­ple who will come in will be peo­ple with Health Care Cards,” he said.

“That’s ba­si­cally the peo­ple we’re aim­ing for.

“If we get the odd tourist who comes in and they want to use their lap­top they can buy an ice cream or drink and use the com­puter.

“We’ve got to main­tain the equip­ment and re­place the equip­ment. There are some over­heads but it won’t be that ex­pen­sive for us to do … we’ve done it as a com­mu­nity ser­vice, we haven’t done it to make money out of it.”

The post of­fice will also of­fer free Wi-Fi to cus­tomers who buy a drink or ice cream.

There has been con­fu­sion over the fu­ture of the cen­tre since De­cem­ber last year, when it was first an­nounced that the cen­tre would close.

LINC Tas­ma­nia, who ran the cen­tre, an­nounced that the cen­tre would re­main open be­fore an­nounc­ing ear­lier this month that the cen­tre would close be­fore Easter.

LINC Tas­ma­nia di­rec­tor Jenny Rayner said the de­ci­sion to for­mally close the cen­tre was made at the re­cent meet­ing of the Maydena Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The re­cent meet­ing of the Maydena Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion for­mally rat­i­fied a de­ci­sion not to take over run­ning the On­line Ac­cess Cen­tre in its ex­ist­ing lo­ca­tion and agreed that the ser­vice should in­stead be trans­ferred to the lo­cal Post Of­fice,” Mrs Rayner told The Gazette.

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