Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Entire Tassie town - no phones for 24 hours.

Entire Tassie Town - No Phones For 24 Hours


Sue Mackay - Shadow Minister for Regional Services


Media Statement - 24 March 2000


Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Senator Sue Mackay, today expressed outrage that another remote area of Tasmania was this week left without telecommunications services.


"The community of Wayatinah was left without access to telecommunications and emergency services, which compromised the safety of the town," Senator Mackay said.


Late Monday morning, the Central Highlands Council reported the problem to Telstra. However, it was not until Tuesday evening that the phone line was temporarily repaired. Mobile phone coverage is not available in Wayatinah either.


This meant that the entire town of Wayatinah was without telecommunications for over 24 hours, and it was only repaired then because, fortunately, there was a technician in the vicinity. It was then properly repaired on Wednesday.


"It is outrageous that an entire town can be shut down without a telephone for one and a half days, while Telstra announces half-yearly profits of $2.093 billion.


"If Telstra is prepared to leave a whole town without a phone service for more than 24 hours, what will happen to the rest of regional Australia after another 10,000 jobs are gone?


"Telstra's whole agenda is simply dollar driven and the losers are people living in regional Australia in places like Wayatinah. This time last year, we saw a similar emergency when the Queenstown Hospital, on Tasmania's west coast, was left without emergency and telecommunications services for 29 hours.


"And now the Howard Government is using a flawed inquiry into services levels as a smokescreen for full privatisation of Telstra. This inquiry should be public, open and transparent. Regional Australia should be given the opportunity to voice their concerns publicly about diminishing Telstra services," Senator Mackay said.


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.