Mt Sylvia resident Julia Crust surveys lines ‘repaired’ by Telstra in the area.
Mt Sylvia resident Julia Crust surveys lines ‘repaired’ by Telstra in the area. Rob Williams

Phone overhaul to take 6 months

RESIDENTS living in the upper part of the Lockyer Valley are yet to be told officially that their primitive phone services could take up to six months to fix.

Dozens of people living west of Gatton at Mt Sylvia, Black Duck and Junction View have been living with telephone lines that have been described as third-world standard.

A spokesman at the telecommunications giant Telstra said it had been doing everything it can to restore phone services.

“Telstra engineers have been working over the past week, and final completion of the upgrade is expected to take up to six months,” the spokesman said.

After waiting almost three months to receive an answer, affected residents said Telstra’s response was “inadequate”.

“Our phone lines were destroyed when we got the first lot of storms just after Christmas,” Mt Sylvia resident Julia Crust said.

“We were promised satellite phones but we received only a couple and the rest never arrived.”

Mrs Crust said phone lines in the region were wiped out in December and had only earlier this month been temporarily restored.

“They have put up sticks to hold the phone lines a few metres off the ground and surrounded the base with rocks,” she said.

“It’s something you would expect to see in a third-world country. It’s not a reliable solution to our phone problems.”

The Telstra spokesman said an upgrade to Telstra’s fixed line network was under way.

“Scoping works pre-construc- tion will improve temporary arrangements which were necessary due to the significant loss of infrastructure,” she said.

“Temporary fixed-line services were restored as quickly as possible after access was available for technicians to safely get into the region.”

The spokesman said Telstra would be meeting with community representatives in the future to outline plans for “fixed-line recovery”.

“Telstra’s fixed network has been restored to normal operation but we encourage any customer with an individual fault to report it by phoning 13 22 03.”



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