Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]

FRUSTRATION AFTER COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN ON THE MOUNTAIN

August 14, 2020

 

Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman says Bowen Mountain residents are at the end of their tether after Telstra failed to meet its own public deadline to fix a severed cable at Bowen Mountain, leaving them without internet or landline connection for more than two weeks.

 

Residents were left frustrated after independent contractors severed two separate communications cables, the first in late July. Telstra stated on its outage webpage the problem, for some premises, would be fixed by 7pm on August 12, but the page was then changed late on the day to August 14.

 

“It’s a cruel blow for people when the Telstra website promises a faster completion time, and that information is shared to customers by the telco and ISPs, and it turns out to be the wrong information,” Ms Templeman said.

 

“Worse than that, they wait until the deadline to actually change the rectification date on the website. So people are expecting their service to be fixed, only to find that the goal posts move at the last minute.

 

“This cut to landline services is causing terrible anxiety for people with medical conditions. It’s preventing Telehealth consultations, and people who are self-isolating simply can’t work or study from home without an internet service.

 

“Of course, the situation at Bowen Mountain is compounded by the poor – and often non-existent – mobile service. And the NBN is not yet connected to anyone in the area – in spite of the Government’s claim that the rollout is complete.

 

“One woman has told me she is spending up to 20 hours a week on the side of the road at North Richmond doing her work because that’s where she can get service.

 

“Another mother, whose children are studying TAFE and school from home due to medical issues within the family, said without internet it’s almost impossible for them to keep up. Parents are feeling helpless about how they can help their kids do the online components of their study.

“People are being resourceful and creative in adapting, but it isn’t fair on them.”

 

Ms Templeman met some residents at Bowen Mountain Park on Wednesday, August 12, where they explained the frustration the situation was causing them.

  

“My office has been in constant contact with Telstra and has made them aware of people’s frustration, and while they have been providing updates on the work, the repair is taking a very long time,” Ms Templeman.

 

“I have been advocating on communications issues in this area for a long time. I’m advised that NBN connections will be available by the end of this month, despite the fact the website still says connection by December this year.

 

“This will be a huge win, assuming it happens. But it doesn’t help Bowen Mountain residents right now.

 

“I won’t stop speaking out on these communications issues until we get what people need to be connected in this, the 21st Century.”

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