• Tony Bosworth

Bilpin comms tower - MP Templeman welcomes fact “this issue has finally got council’s attention”

At Monday’s Hawkesbury Council meeting, Mayor Patrick Conolly said Bilpin residents should speak to Federal MP Susan Templeman about Telstra upgrading Bilpin communications tower, given communications is a Federal issue.

A motion from independent councillors to arrange a physical meeting on the ground at Bilpin between Bilpin Region Advancement Group (BRAG) and Telstra was defeated on the casting vote of the Mayor.

What was agreed – after the Mayor again used his casting vote - is that the newly formed Innovations and Partnership Committee will try and organise a meeting between Hawkesbury residents – because there are communications issues across the local government area, not just in Bilpin – along with MP Templeman and Telstra.

Today Ms Templeman said she looked forward to the council working with her for the benefit of residents.

“I welcome the fact that this issue has finally got council’s attention,” Ms Templeman said.

“Telstra is a private company, not a government agency, and the more the two tiers of government can work on this together with the community, the more likely there is to be an outcome in line with what the community wants,” Ms Templeman said.

MP Susan Templeman has been building a heatmap of Hawkesbury's mobile phone black spots which she will be talking about to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher

“The current tower battery was extended a year ago, after the community and I raised issues with Telstra about it in 2019.

“But the reality is that 12-14 hours of battery barely gets you through the night. If the power goes off at 3pm, in the middle of a fire, then by 5am the following morning there’s nothing. Given the experiences the Bilpin community had last year, it’s not unreasonable that they want a greater sense of certainty about phone communications.

“Bilpin is just one area of the Hawkesbury that needs better mobile and communication services, and I look forward to council working with me in the future to pressure both the telcos and the federal government to bring residents the services they deserve.”

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