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19 May 2022

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Groom Candidate Suzie Holt

Who will take responsibility for mobile phone black spots in Toowoomba Region?

Independent candidate Suzie Holt today visited residents of Village on the Downs at Harristown, a retirement village that does not receive adequate 4G coverage despite being 2km from the Toowoomba CBD, Australia’s largest inland non-capital city.


This is of great concern for residents of the gated community, who often need to leave their homes to access a reliable phone signal. This is inconvenient and limits the opportunities of residents to connect with family and friends via mobile phone and to continue running businesses past retirement age.


It also poses a health risk, as it has prevented the village from upgrading its medical alert system, leading to less peace of mind for residents.


Gary Briggs is a resident of the village and is the managing director of Dingo Australia, Six Wheeler Conversions and Feral Fencing. He and other residents have been working for over two years to have this issue solved – but no one is taking responsibility to fix the problem.


“As someone who enjoys living here but is still running their own business, this has a major impact on my life. I travel for my business and I can get a phone signal everywhere I go – except when I am at home. When I am at home the signal drops in and out, it is completely random.”


The residents have been in contact with Telstra for over two years and have asked them to send someone with technical ability to do testing to see what is wrong. They have been told Village on the Downs needs to make a significant financial contribution to Telstra before they will send a technician.


The residents have written to their state member who said they needed to speak to Groom’s Federal Member of Parliament, Mr Garth Hamilton. While his office contacted Telstra a couple of months ago, he has only forwarded their response to the residents without further advocating for residents on this issue.


Ms Holt is disappointed to hear that this is still ongoing and has not been resolved. “Two years is too long for these residents to have to deal with this issue without any positive resolution. If elected as the Federal member for Groom I will make resolving black spot issues a priority. At the end of the day, someone needs to take responsibility for the problems facing our community.”

Independent Candidate for the Federal seat of Groom.

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