In contrast to the valiant services of the firefighters I would like to contrast the efforts of the local telco.
It’s fine that the fire commissioners put in place advisory protocols with respect to contacting people in danger, but if Telstra and others do not feel like making any special effort then it all fails.
“Hot Tuesday” highlights the fact large areas of this valley do not get mobile reception and it’s time for safety and commercial purposes that they did.
I have, like many in the Valley, no mobile service.
On “Hot Tuesday” I struggled a kilometre along Dr George Road to find a reception point - only to find “no service”.
There are many mobile shadow areas and places where direct line coverage will be broken in fire conditions in the shire.
I live in line of sight to Mumbulla Mountain an ideal place for a tower.
Telstra will not put one there unless forced since it would not net enough customers.
It has a service obligation to overall coverage of the area.
It’s time more pressure was applied to this end by local politicians.
Legislation seems to be the only way to change the behaviour of telcos.
We need additional mobile towers now.
I have a landline, but over a week ago my phone and that of my neighbour’s was outed.
My neighbour reported both.
My mistake, neighbour’s reports don’t count!
Even in a fire crisis?
I deal with Southern Phone Company, which relays fault info to Telstra who deals with it.
They are the people who enter my property and with whom I have to liaise.
However, I am a non-person as far as Telstra is concerned when I call.
They will not deal with my call as I’m billed by Southern Phone.
Telstra has a three working day notional approach.
This means unless a fault is registered on Monday or Tuesday the three days intersect with a weekend.
My experience has always been the five days or more.
This is a ridiculous response time for a place 10km from town in a peak fire period - or any time.
It should be mandatory for Telstra to respond in 48 hours and they should be heavily fined for further delay or nonsense non-attendance.
This week my neighbour’s line fix did not happen.
Not Tuesday as a small tree blocked the Dr George road (briefly) nor Wednesday as Telstra “couldn’t find the property”.
I’m now on my third day of house detention waiting for them as they require one’s attendance to enter.
Telstra has evidently not heard of chainsaws or GPS services.
I refer to your The Year That Was feature (BDN, 4/1) and in particular the third paragraph under the July subheading.
“Following a unanimous decision by the Bega Valley Shire Council, the Bega War Memorial Town hall was not put forward for consideration for heritage listing. This was based on the expert opinion of a heritage advisor.”
So far as I am aware, the name and qualifications of the said heritage advisor were not disclosed.
The above quotation was to me quite an eye-opening piece of news, even a mind-blowing one.
What right do the mostly non-permanent Bega residents on the council have to decide the fate of our War Memorial Town hall without open consultation?
Surely this is a matter for the residents of the shire, from within say a radius of 10km of Bega, to decide upon.
I do hope our recently elected councillors will give this matter considerable thought and not just rubber stamp the aforementioned decision.
Perhaps they may decide to hold a plebiscite to resolve this matter?
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