5
Feb 2019

Julia Creek Hospital - landline out for over a week

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KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Hon Bob Katter has expressed his utter contempt for the privatisation of Telstra and its ineffective systems which has seen the flood isolated hospital in Julia Creek without a landline phone since 6pm Tuesday 29 January.

"This lack of communication is life threatening," Mr Katter said of the outage at Julia Creek.

The Julia Creek hospital has been waiting over a week for this service to be restored. Telstra sent out additional mobile handsets – but these could not get to Julia Creek due to the flooding. For the past week the hospital’s only means of communication has been a single 3G handset.

After initially advising that Telstra would travel to Julia Creek after the floods subside (which could be another week) a phone call today from Mr Katter will see Telstra travelling to Julia Creek by chopper to resolve the issue.

"Before the Government privatised Telstra we had 4 Telstra workers in Julia Creek, we had nearly 20 in Cloncurry and a dozen in Hughenden. Since privatisation, I doubt we would have half a dozen in the Mid-West and Gulf now," said Mr Katter.

"At the time of privatisation the then Prime Minister assured us we would have Universal Service Obligations (USO) and they have tried to get rid of that too," Mr Katter said in reference to the Productivity Commission’s 2017 review of USOs.

"We suspect many have died as a result of lack of service and privatisation.

"20,000 workers made redundant, jobs abolished and workers are being brought in from overseas with call centres off shore. It has been an absolute disaster," Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter has expressed that this is no way a criticism of the workers on the ground who are doing their absolute best, but a criticism of the corporate structure and systems in Telstra since privatisation.

—ENDS—

Contact Details

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Innisfail, Qld 4860

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Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au