“Cash Only” – Telstra Hangs Up On Far North Queensland

Mar 22, 2024

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, has penned a letter to Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, after widespread Telstra outages are being experienced across several regions in the Gulf and Far North – some areas being without service, internet and EFTPOS for several days.

In his letter to the Minister, Mr. Katter warned that Telstra’s unreliable service in areas stretching from Burketown to Chillagoe and Innisfail was severely impacting businesses and the safety of residents at home or working on farms.

“In the last six months there has been a noticeable decrease in services with numerous dropouts or no service at all,” Mr Katter said.

“People are paying for a service they are not getting, and it is driving people out of our regional and remote towns. Our businesses are being forced to go cashless and yet this demonstrates why cash is king – the only way our towns are operating at present is because they accept cash, and the people up here still carry it.

“I understand Telstra has to upgrade their towers, but they better be damn sure that when they do, people can still access emergency services, or have access to internet to run their businesses – and they haven’t.

“We had one incident where there was a house fire and around the corner was the Fire Chief of the Rural Fire Brigade, but as they had no service, they were not able to communicate this serious situation. As a result of the delay in action from the emergency services, the house burnt to the ground, and they were lucky to get out alive.”

Mr. Katter has called for an immediate resolution. He said it was a disgrace that such poor customer service has been shown to customers across the far north.

The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP said it was probably the biggest issue facing regional and remote Australia and must be funded seriously by the Federal Government.

“Accidents frequently occur on rural properties and roads, and without the ability to call emergency services, the risk of injury and death is much higher.

“These problems just indicate further why the sale and privatisation of Telstra by the major parties was a national disaster that will continue to impact generations to come.”