Winchendonvale landholders have had a win after receiving a mobile phone tower

Ralph Billing
Ralph Billing

IN 2018 mobile phone service is something most people take for granted.

Yet there are still plenty of places with no service, or minimal coverage. These areas are known as ‘black spots.’ When you live in a black spot area you learn to get by. And getting by might mean improvising and making your own makeshift tower.

This was the case for Tony Clough at Wantabadgery who still doesn’t have decent service, but did manage to build his own tower to get a connection at the house. For others it might be a case of finding a hill, or climbing to the top of a tank or finding those handy little areas where there is a glimmer of hope with just one bar.

For Bob McCormack at Winchendonvale this was how he got around the problem for 10 years. However, it all turned around for landholders at Mimosa and Winchendonvale late last year when a tower was built under the Federal Government’s Black Spot program. During an interview with The Rural Mr McCormack laughed that he was now in the 21st century.

But on a more serious note he did realise that there would have been a fair amount of business lost and opportunities not taken. He’s now getting nine or 10 calls a morning. And before that he was perhaps picking up the odd message when he gained service. What does that mean for any potential business?

In an age of Netflix and Snapchat it’s hard for people in city areas to comprehend life “without service.” It would be another world to them. More importantly, and in the case of Winchendonvale, the results show that lobbying can pay dividends. Over the years The Rural has run countless stories on landholders who need better mobile phone coverage.

And this recent example shows that while there are winners there are losers too. To the east of Winchendonvale at Wantabadgery there was no phone tower built. This was despite the fact the area had two major accidents resulting in two fatalities in the past six months.