Red tape tying up mobiles

By ADAM HICKS

RED tape is still blocking Bonalbo's mobile phone tower, four years after residents raised $10,000 to build it.

Residents this week said they were frustrated there had been no construction on the Haystack Mountain base station since the fundraising in 2000.

Bonalbo Newsagency coowner George Vancsa said he renounced his position as the town's Telstra agent because of the incident.

"There's been nothing but duck shoving. Telstra say it's National Parks, and National Parks say it's Telstra," he said.

"Everyone is pissed off. There wouldn't be two families in town who didn't contribute. If you put money in and hadn't seen returns after four years, how would you feel?"

Neither Telstra nor National Parks would say when work would start.

A Telstra spokeswoman said the process was governed by external authorities.

"The site is sensitive because it's in a national park," she said.

"It's ready to go. We have the funding but we need to abide by rules and regulations."

A Department of Environment and Conservation (formerly National Parks and Wildlife Service) spokesman said work could start as soon as a licence agreement with Telstra was finalised.

"It doesn't happen overnight. It needs to go through strict scrutiny," he said.



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