Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Business case for Copeton Dam mobile phone coverage to be examined



Download PDFDownload PDF

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT TONY WINDSOR MP PH (02) 6761 3080, MOBILE 0427 668868

TAMWORTH OFFICE SHOP 5, 259 PEEL STREET, TAMWORTH 2340 PH: 02 6761 3080 OR TOLL FREE 1300 301 839 FAX: 02 6761 3380 INVERELL OFFICE 88 OTHO STREET, INVERELL 2360 PH: 02 6721 0144 FAX: 02 6721 0288 ALL MAIL PO BOX 963, TAMWORTH NSW 2340 EMAIL: Tony.Windsor.MP@aph.gov.au WEB: www.tonywindsor.com.au

TONY WINDSOR B.Ec MP INDEPENDENT FEDERAL MEMBER FOR NEW ENGLAND

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MEDIA RELEASE 23rd January 2013

Business case for Copeton Dam mobile phone coverage to be examined

Residents and visitors to Copeton Dam may be a step closer to having mobile phone coverage at long last, after Telstra Country Wide representatives agreed to be more transparent about the business case for a new mobile phone tower with the Independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor.

Mr Windsor says this new agreement with Telstra Country Wide is potentially a way to break the long-running stalemate over a new tower.

“The lack of mobile phone coverage at Copeton Dam puts the safety of nearly 40,000 visitors at risk each year, and was recently cited by the organisers of a major conference as the only reason for cancelling their booking at the park,” Mr Windsor said.

“Despite years of lobbying by the community, the major telecommunications companies have continued to insist that installing a mobile phone tower at Copeton Dam isn’t commercially viable and therefore isn’t a priority.

“Yesterday, I met with Tricia Wilson, General Manager of Telstra Country Wide in the New England North West of New South Wales, and Rebecca O’Flaherty, Executive Director - Telstra Country Wide and they agreed to show me the business case for a new tower at Copeton Dam.

“This will allow us to see how far, in dollar terms, the proposed tower is from being viable for Telstra, and if the gap isn’t too great there may be a way to make up the shortfall.

“I’m pleased that Telstra is willing to work with the community to find a way to deliver the infrastructure local people deserve,” Mr Windsor said.

Mr Windsor believes the battle for mobile phone coverage at Copeton Dam is further evidence of the failure of past policy to deliver for country people, as ever since Telstra was sold the government has no say over mobile phone infrastructure.

“Despite Telstra’s willingness to engage with the community in this instance, the long fight for mobile phone coverage at Copeton Dam shows country people usually come off second-best to metropolitan areas when private companies are relied on to deliver telecommunications infrastructure,” Mr Windsor said.

“This is further confirmation that the National Broadband Network (NBN) strategy represents a better approach.

“Under the terms of my agreement with the government, the rollout of the NBN was redirected to favour country areas, and country people pay the same wholesale price as city people for the same service.

“The alternative being peddled by the Opposition relies on private companies to deliver broadband, which ensures country people would once again be worse off.

“I believe country people deserve better,” Mr Windsor concluded.