When market failure threatens lives:
Julia Creek Hospital – landline out for over a week!
I have utter contempt for the privatisation of Telstra and its ineffective systems which has seen the flood isolated hospital in Julia Creek without a landline phone since 6pm Tuesday 29 January.
This lack of communication is life threatening.
The Julia Creek hospital has been waiting over a week for this service to be restored. Telstra sent out additional mobile handsets – but these could not get to Julia Creek due to the flooding. For the past week the hospital’s only means of communication has been a single 3G handset.
After initially advising that Telstra would travel to Julia Creek after the floods subside (which could be another week) a phone call today from myself will see Telstra travelling to Julia Creek by chopper to resolve the issue.
Before the Government privatised Telstra we had 4 Telstra workers in Julia Creek, we had nearly 20 in Cloncurry and a dozen in Hughenden. Since privatisation, I doubt we would have half a dozen in the Mid-West and Gulf now.
At the time of privatisation the then Prime Minister assured us we would have Universal Service Obligations (USO) and they have tried to get rid of that too ( the Productivity Commission’s 2017 review of USOs).
We suspect many have died as a result of lack of service and privatisation.
20,000 workers made redundant, jobs abolished and workers are being brought in from overseas with call centres off shore. It has been an absolute disaster.
This is no way a criticism of the workers on the ground who are doing their absolute best, but a criticism of the corporate structure and systems in Telstra since privatisation.