STILL PAYING: Jo Culbertson’s phone has been out of order for eight weeks and Telstra is still charging her for the service.
STILL PAYING: Jo Culbertson’s phone has been out of order for eight weeks and Telstra is still charging her for the service. Claudia Baxter

No service for two months, but here's your bill

A RURAL Mt Mort street has been without its Telstra phone line for eight weeks, but residents are still being charged for the service.

Federal MP Shayne Neumann has described Telstra's lack of action in fixing the line as unacceptable.

Telstra said the line would be fixed yesterday, but no work had taken place.

The street, 16km from Grandchester, has been without a phone line since the line was damaged by roadworks in mid-February.

Since then resident Jo Culbertson has badgered Telstra call centre staff to have the Coynes Rd line fixed, but to no avail.

She has spent more than five hours on the phone trying to get something done.

Coynes Rd has only two residents, and theirs are the only two homes in the region still to have their service restored.

The trouble began on February 16, when the line was cut, but service was briefly restored for a matter of hours before a heavy downpour brought the line down again.

Ms Culbertson said on average the phone line had been out of order for three months a year.

"I didn't mind it the first year with the floods, but the last year, a small road, but they assured us they did some special work last year to the exchange," she said.

"I'm still being charged for the phone service, despite being told I wouldn't. I was told I would have to pay for it now and I was told it wouldn't be fixed up until the work is done.

Ms Culbertson has considered changing to a different network, but fears because the line is owned by Telstra, they would be less likely to fix a non-customer's line.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said Telstra should have addressed the problem by now.

The MP's office has been in contact with Telstra and Mr Neumann said it was unacceptable that the line was still out of action.

"Telstra are a private company, but it's unacceptable they haven't done so," he said. "It doesn't matter where they are in Australia, they should be able to get access to Telstra. It's not just a person's livelihood or lifestyle, but it could be a matter of someone's life."

Telstra comment on the issue was sought, but they had not replied by the time of publication.


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