A lack of phone and internet coverage over the Southern 80 weekend was not an isolated incident, according to a Torrumbarry business owner.ASHLEA KUNOWSKI February 19, 2013 4:30am
Crowds, emergency services and organisers at the 2013 Southern 80 struggled to find phone and internet reception over the weekend.
The Southern 80 phone coverage black out was not an isolated incident, a Torrumbarry business owner says.
Greg Callaway said residents in Torrumbarry and surrounding districts had lost their internet and mobile phone coverage during the past three events.
‘‘The wireless network seems over-subscribed,’’ he said.
He said the interruption was a great inconvenience which affected his two businesses.
‘‘Everything I do in the business has to do with the internet,’’ he said.
‘‘I look up parts .
Importantly, he said the loss of coverage was not limited to Southern 80 weekends.
‘‘We are in this position every big weekend or event,’’ he said.
Mr Callaway, who unsuccessfully ran for Campaspe Shire council at the last election, could not understand how the shire continued to promote tourism in the region without making sure there were sufficient services available.
‘‘The Campaspe Shire seems to want to promote tourism .
‘‘We need to provide city services, not small town services.’’
Campaspe Shire’s service executive manager Paul McKenzie said the Emergency Management Planning Committee wrote to Telstra expressing concern at the communications coverage.
‘‘Telstra responded to the group advising the three towers supporting Echuca were in the process of being upgraded, increasing capacity by 60 per cent,’’ he said.
‘‘Council also worked with the (Moama Water Sports) club and Telstra to allow the installation of a temporary mobile base station at Victoria Park for the 2013 event.’’
The mobile base station, known as a Cell On Wheels, failed Saturday morning and was not repaired until Saturday evening.
Telstra apologised in Wednesday’s Riverine Heraldfor the malfunction.
Mr Callaway said it was not just for business reasons that improved service to the area was necessary, but also for safety.
On more than one occasion, Mr Callaway has used his property as a reference point for police and ambulance when the phone lines have stopped working.
He said any attempts to contact Telstra had resulted in trying to resolve the issue with off-shore call centres.
‘‘That doesn’t fix the problem,’’ he said.
The Moama Water Sports Club has said it would engage with Telstra about the lack of service for future events.
At tomorrow’s council meeting, Mr Callaway will call on Campaspe Shire Council to prevent future phone services congestion through talks with Telstra.
But Mr McKenzie has said council’s event application requires an Emergency and Risk Assessment Plan to be completed and emergency services would make further contact with Telstra to improve services.
The SAM Foundation has received a further philanthropic contribution of $1 million towards the new Shepparton Art Museum.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Two people have been arrested and thousands of dollars in drugs and property found in a major raid in Corop early Monday.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Two recent council-approved planning applications for new depots as part of a new logistics and transport hub in Strathmerton will begin construction soon, with representatives from both companies inspecting the site.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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