GOODLANDS BASE STATION
815. Hon LAURIE GRAHAM to the Minister for Regional Development:
refer to comments by Hon Jim Chown in this place on 8 August that criticised
the Department of Primary Industries and
Regional Development for having ''its foot on the kink in the hose''
on the construction of the Goodlands base station project. Can the minister please provide an update
on this project within the highly successful digital farm program?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for taking the opportunity
to ask this question.
Hon Jim Chown made claims in the
Parliament the other day that reflect negatively on the department. We were
very surprised by those comments because in our dealings with the Shire of
Dalwallinu, no-one has complained. During his contribution, the member
acknowledged that he had some personal interest in this issue. I assure the
member that the department has been exemplary in advancing this, and that,
indeed, Telstra has been the problem. Within two months of the decision to
include the Goodlands base station in the digital farm program, Telstra was
sent the financial administration agreement to sign. It sat on that for five
months before we received a response. We then responded to Telstra within a couple
of weeks. This process has dragged out. Telstra has apologised to us and has
undertaken to have that agreement in place by the end of this week and to have
this project rolled out within the next six months.