Local News

Telco Accused Of Abandoning Carnarvon Gorge

Telstra By Wpcpey - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.jpg

Image By Wpcpey - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are claims that Carnarvon Gorge has been thrown into the dark ages, without basic landline phone coverage since May 9 with an expected two week wait for a resolution.

Capricorn Enterprise claims that 200 customers are being affected by the failure of Telstra’s transmission hardware on the radio link phoneline which relies on technology dating from the 1980s.

A spokesperson said that without a redundancy system, this outage is expected to be in place until the 23rd of May while Telstra waits for the required ‘emergency’ equipment to arrive.

"Rural Radiotelephone Service provides basic, analog communications service between locations deemed so remote that traditional wireline service or service by other means is not feasible.

Located in the heart of Carnarvon Gorge and welcoming up to 65,000 visitors per year, Amanda Porter, Manager of Takarakka Bush Resort said "Without adequate communication, our business is suffering more each day as this saga draws on".  

“While Carnarvon Gorge is in its absolute prime, and Takarakka’s caravan park would normally be at peak, occupancy has dropped significantly as visitors have found it too hard to book and continue on past.

“We are not a third world country, although we are expected to be satisfied with third world technology and it is not feasible to be in this current predicament for business, for safety or sanity.

“Carnarvon Gorge is a key tourism attraction for the region and I cannot accept that the level of remoteness can be deemed as unfeasible to deserve the basic service of up to date technology for telecommunication.

“During the outage, our four business lines have been diverted to my personal mobile which receives intermittent coverage in one corner of our busy office space.

“Yesterday while attempting to contact the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service and 000, the phone line was cut on multiple occasions before medical help was able to be arranged for a critically ill staff member” she said.

General Manager of Capricorn Enterprise Mary Carroll said “Takarakka Bush Resort is our largest single accommodation and tour operator at Carnarvon Gorge and the Management has my full support in appealing via the media to get their voices and frustrations heard, as nothing else seems to be working!.”

“Just because Carnarvon Gorge is considered geographically remote, doesn’t mean it should receive sub-standard attention from our national telecommunications carrier. This is not just about our tourism businesses losing much needed revenue, it is about the safety of our visitors too” she said.

Telstra has been contacted for comment.