I’ve been campaigning for better telecommunications for our electorate since I was elected. But in May this year, frustrated by the lack of action, I upped the campaign and asked you to tell me your stories and your issues so I could take them to Telstra and the other telecommunications companies.
I heard extraordinary stories from our community like a woman in Glenhaven who couldn’t call an ambulance when she was having a stroke or a neurosurgeon in Dural who was on call who couldn’t receive a call to tell him that he needed to go see patients.
These are the sorts of issues that the people in the Berowra electorate live with every day. Since that time I have had three meetings with Telstra’s CEO Andy Penn and I’m pleased to report that we’ve got action.
Firstly, Telstra has agreed to improve their infrastructure so in areas that were badly affected by those February storms and went for months without telecommunications, Telstra is promising to improve the infrastructure.
Secondly, Telstra has promised to build two towers in our community that will cover Dural, Middle Dural and Glenhaven.
Thirdly, I’ve extracted a promise from Andy Penn to come to our electorate so that he can see first-hand that despite the fact that Telstra’s coverage maps say that we have coverage in certain areas, the truth for some communities is that that coverage actually doesn’t exist.
I’ve also made a submission to the mobile black spot discussion paper to ensure that we have the right in our community, which is bush fire affected and an outer metropolitan area of Sydney, to access more mobile towers as part of the black spot campaign. Previously, most of those black spot opportunities have gone to rural and regional Australia.
Telecommunications should be like electricity and water; it is absurd that people living 40 minutes from the Sydney CBD can’t get mobile coverage.
I’m now receiving regular updates from Telstra and from the other telecommunications companies. So if you have an issue, always feel free to reach out to me.
I’ll continue to fight until we’ve got the telecommunications in our community that we deserve.