Mobile reception in Goolma has been improved with the official launch of the towns mobile base station.
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Construction of the long-awaited Telstra tower, located 40 kilometres south-east of Mudgee, began mid-October as part the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program announced in 2015.
Telstra Country Wide Western NSW area general manager Scott Curtin describe the tower as a significant moment for the community.
“We’ve been able to fill in some of the highways and busy Goolma Road,” he said.
“Here’s to plenty of use of the network, safety of the community and hopefully the businesses can use it as much as possible.”
Students from Goolma Public School had the honour of officially cutting the ribbon and thanking Telstra.
“On behalf of the school we would like to say thanking for inviting us to the opening of the tower and it’s very kind of you for letting us come and see it.”
NSW SES Macquarie deputy region controller, Phil Lalor also attended the launch and described the coverage as fantastic.
“It enhances our ability to communicate with our members when they are out on the field recieving information and requests for assistance from the public,” Mr Lalor said.
“It also allows the public to communicate with us and request assistance during a natural disaster or some other unfortunate emergency.
“Whilst I’m sure that there are some people who will not have reception, the good thing is that it’s a start and it’s a lot better than what it was.
“I was travelling along here the other day and the fact that I actually had mobile phone coverage was fantastic – I could keep in touch with my office, I could provide information to the people expecting me down the road – so it’s a great thing for the Goolma community and the wider community,” he said.
The majority of residents welcomed the 4G coverage, but Tim, Chris and Jason Warner – who live and have coverage in the Goolma township – expressed concerns.
“It’s only doing a small part of the highway,” Tim said. “You’d think little side roads would have coverage.”
Chris added, “we are happy that we got it but it’s just some areas are still in a blackspot and the main concern was accidents.”
Telstra explained the chosen location, roadside next to St Francis Xavier's Church, was selected due to power requirements and to give maximum coverage for the township.
“They put it in a valley, they should have put it on a hilltop so the signal can go down into the valley and across the top,” Jason said.
“It’s like they said we were going to get a huge dinner steak and we turn up and it’s only a rissole.”
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