Boyne Valley left at risk again without phones
BOYNE Valley residents left in a high-risk situation without their landlines during Tropical Cyclone Marcia have had their pleas for better connections highlighted again.
Residents in the Gladstone region were excluded from a relief package announced by Telstra on Sunday for Banana Shire and Rockhampton residents.
The package includes free call diversion and mobile phone credit as short-term measures for Telstra customers who had to temporarily evacuate or had a temporary fault as a result of the cyclone.
Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett has gone in to bat for the small communities of the valley, demanding service provider Telstra provide urgent attention to the area's poor infrastructure.
He sent a letter to Telstra yesterday that stated residents in Nargoorin, Ubobo, Builyan and Many Peaks have had landline issues for a considerable time.
"This has happened far too often in recent years," he wrote in a letter to Telstra regional sales and service director Gary Macleod and area general manager Kris Carver.
"The area also has no mobile phone coverage, putting the residents in a high-risk situation, especially when power was lost as well.
"This recent event has once again highlighted the need for urgent attention by Telstra to this issue."
Mr Burnett included a link to the Telstra website commenting on its "commitment to rural and regional Queensland" and the offer for both to "visit the region and see first-hand the poor state of Telstra infrastructure in the area".
A Telstra spokesperson say no amount of investment would protect against service outages when areas are impacted by a natural disaster.
But Telstra has provided no answers to the community of the Boyne Valley that continues to be hampered by poor communications infrastructure.
Telstra also says it is reviewing its disaster relief packages to ensure anyone in the Gladstone region critically affected by Cyclone Marcia will be taken care of.
A public statement from Telstra said area general manager Kris Carver had been in touch directly with Cr Burnett on the issue.
"Our focus right now is getting our customers back online as quickly as possible and making sure our people stay safe," the statement read.
"Relatively speaking we have actually come out of Cyclone Marcia pretty well and things stood up well from a network perspective."