JINDERA is pushing for federal government funding to improve phone signal for emergency services.
Despite receiving a new phone tower in 2011, the town is one of 6000 in Australia seeking a portion of the government’s $100 million Black Spot Program.
Jindera was identified as one of 16 black spots in the Greater Hume and with the fire season due to start on November 1, zone 4 RFS fire brigade captain Graham Yensch said he had major concerns over the issue.
“It certainly impacts our ability to protect people and keep people safe because some people receive emergency notifications via SMS,” he said
“We also have a lot of trouble when there is a reasonable sized fire, the mobile phone services become overloaded because everyone is using their phone and then you don’t get a good service wherever you are.”
“The conditions have been dry this spring and it looks like the fire season will start early so I am very concerned about the problem.”
When plans for the last tower were being carried out, a petition to have the height reduced for visual purposes meant the tower couldn’t provide the same service as a standard sized tower.
Mr Yensch said some people had gained service while others had lost it all together.
As a result, the community was seeking to either have the tower made taller or a mobile co-location with the taller NBN tower.
Greater Hume councillor Denise Osborne said they were in the process of putting their case forward to the federal government.
“It’s a federal government decision now and we don’t want to be discounted because we already have a tower,” she said.
“The ramifications for our community are rather enormous if we can’t rely on service for emergency services.”
“I want them to investigate the best option and hopefully get better service for us.”
Farrer MP Susan Ley lobbied the government for the previous tower and said she would work again with the community to try and resolve the issue.
“This is a unique situation where Jindera quite rightly thought the new Telstra tower would address signal problems,” she said.
“I hope to have a clearer idea on the options in coming days.”