Mount Isa MP Rob Katter criticises Telstra service in Burke Shire

The damaged tower at the Century Mine site, where a technician traveled by helicopter. Photo: Telstra.
The damaged tower at the Century Mine site, where a technician traveled by helicopter. Photo: Telstra.

A TECHNICIAN  has completed repairs at a phone tower causing disruptions in the Burke Shire. 

“Everyone should be up and running now,” a Telstra spokesman said on Tuesday morning. 

Storm damage impacted Telstra landlines in the Burke Shire since last week. 

Telstra area general manager Rachel Cliffe said bad weather in the area made the site inaccessible. 

A technician flew to the site on Sunday afternoon after an aircraft was chartered to the site from Cairns. The technician confirmed storm damage to the infrastructure. 

Telstra staff returned to the site on Monday with the aim of fixing the outage in the afternoon. 

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience,” Ms Cliffe said.

“We share our customers' frustration when factors beyond our control affect their services and we are doing everything we can to reconnect them as quickly as possible.

“We have a long and proud history of investing in rural and remote Australia and we continue to investigate ways of further expanding services.

State MP Rob Katter, pictured near Telstra Hill in Mount Isa, said outages in the Burke Shire last week affected 95 Telstra landlines. Photo: Chris Burns.

State MP Rob Katter, pictured near Telstra Hill in Mount Isa, said outages in the Burke Shire last week affected 95 Telstra landlines. Photo: Chris Burns.

“We also recently became the first carrier to provide fast 4G mobile internet in Burketown, thanks to a partnership between Telstra, the Federal, State and Local Governments, which is delivering high speed fibre optic cable between Burketown and Doomadgee.” 

Mount Isa State MP Rob Katter said he was contacted by Burke Shire residents on social media about the outages which on Monday lasted five days. 

He said Telstra’s complaint system was flawed and a “circular problem” as it received phone service complaints by phone. 

He said the outage affected 95 landlines in the area after a storm adjusted the phone tower in the Century mine site. 

Mr Katter said he was unable to fault Telstra staff working in the region, who regularly updated him on the issue, but said that if it was a city based issue it would have been resolved faster. 

“Most of Telstra’s excuses are legitimate but at the end of the day, the service is out,” he said. 

“They will always prioritise the business and building their networks in centralised areas.” 

There were health and security concerns with outages in the remote area, he said.