Awaba phone faults 'unacceptable', says Piper

9th May 2018

Source: 1233 ABC Newcastle | By: Ben Millington | Posted: May 9, 2018

Would you cope without your home landline for weeks? What about not having the internet?

Residents in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Awaba say they've been without landline phone services for almost two months, and they're fed up with waiting for Telstra.

Judith McDonald says her landline went down in mid-March and she lost internet at the beginning of May.

She says Telstra originally told her it would be fixed by the end of April, and now it's saying the end of May.

"I think it's disgraceful that Telstra seem to be paying absolutely no attention to this whole incident," she said.

"I mean 70 to 300 people without a telephone in the Awaba area is just disgusting, and they're doing nothing."

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper says it's unacceptable.

He says Telstra is blaming asbestos in the phone pits, but says that's not a good enough excuse.

"Certainly that they would have qualified people ready, and certainly in the sort of time frame we're talking about - I mean we're talking now about the better part of two months," he said.

"I don't think anyone could sell that as being a reasonable argument."

A Telstra spokeswoman has apologised for the delay.

"We understand the frustration this can cause," she said in a statement.

"There are strict guidelines we have to follow in the event that any asbestos containing material is found at the site to ensure there is no risk to the safety of our staff and the general public."

"We are working to complete the project as quickly as possible.

"There are options available for customers whose landline service has been affected including call diversion, which can be arranged by calling 132 200.

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