Councillor calls for an investigation into telecom blackout

SUNDAY 11AM: PEOPLE living in Burrum Heads are expected to be reconnected to all telecommunication by Sunday afternoon, after spending almost four days without internet or phone services.

With no telecommunications, members of the local disaster management group and community members went door-to-door, warning residents about the communication black-out, and telling them how they could access emergency services if needed.

An emergency services operations support unit was set up near the Burrum Heads community centre until Sunday morning, for people to seek help if they could not reach triple zero.

One woman with a medical condition used the service.

Local Disaster Management Group chairman Rolf Light said just a few Telstra customers remained without landlines on Sunday morning, but there was still no clear indication what caused the outage.

"I will be seeking clarification of exactly what the problem was, and why there were inconsistencies about when it would be fixed," Cr Light said.

"People rely on communications , particularly for triple zero services, Burrum Heads has an older demographic; if people needed fire and ambulance, they couldn't access it and that is a great concern.

"Businesses in town were also affected and had no Eftpos, so it caused quite a ripple. But my major concern is access emergency services."

Cr Light said he would bring the issue up at a de-briefing about last week's rain on Tuesday.

"we need plans in place when this happens again when there's a total lack of communication," he said.

SATURDAY: A FRASER Coast township is without working telecommunications after strong winds and heavy rains hit the region on Wednesday and Thursday.

Burrum Heads has been without internet and landline service, and has had very limited mobile service since Thursday when the wild weather started.

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Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) chairman Rolf Light said a mobile communications van had been set up at the Burrum Heads community centre for those who needed to access emergency services.

"We've had one lady in a bit of distress… but she's now been assisted," Cr Light said.

"There have been unconfirmed reports [the telecommunications] issue will be fixed by Monday night, but it has not been confirmed yet."

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 Cr Light said the township's lack of communications was a big issue for the LDMG, but crews would continue to keep an eye on the Mary River and Tinana Creek water levels over the weekend.

"Reports are that we're not going to get any significant flooding at all," he said.

"The Local Disaster Management Group will have a debrief on Tuesday."

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, rises are occurring along Tinana Creek but levels are expected to remain below the minor flood level.

The Mary River at Tiaro is sitting below 8m and falling, and is expected to fall below the minor flood level of 6m on Sunday morning.

A warning from the Department of Transport and Main Roads remains in place for the Mungar Rd bridge over the Mary River at Tiaro.

The river level at Maryborough's portside is also falling, and is expected to remain below the minor flood level of 5m throughout Sunday.



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