SUCCESS: Linville resident and town hall president Alan Kirby has been campaigning for better mobile phone coverage for the area. Picture: Ali Kuchel
SUCCESS: Linville resident and town hall president Alan Kirby has been campaigning for better mobile phone coverage for the area. Picture: Ali Kuchel

Petition perseverance pays off for town with spotty reception

RESIDENTS in a rural town have been given cause to celebrate, with the government finally answering their prayers, pleas and petitions.

For years, the people of Linville, in the Somerset region, have been calling for the town’s near-non-existent mobile phone coverage to be improved.

The horrific bushfire season recently endured by the community only served to further justify this need for effective lines of communication.

“Through the fires that was a real issue, because the fireys didn’t have any sort of connection outside of where they were actually fighting our fires,” Linville Hall Committee president Alan Kirby said.

“We’ve had a few bike riders come in, they’d fallen off their bikes and sustained minor injuries. One day we’re going to have someone come in with something more substantial.”

Last year, Mr Kirby started a petition and devoted many hours to walking around town gathering signatures.

“I put a lot of effort into it, going around just getting the 350-odd names,” he said.

“I presented it to Shayne Neumann and he was actually good enough to present it in parliament to the minister. I was really, really chuffed about that.”

Alan Kirby holds his petition with Member for Blair Shayne Neumann.
Alan Kirby holds his petition with Member for Blair Shayne Neumann.

He conducted another petition at the same time, calling for Somerset Regional Council to repair the town’s toilet block, which eventually happened.

Now both of Mr Kirby’s petitions have netted a positive outcome.

Linville is now among 138 locations set to receive new mobile base stations under the latest round of the government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

A date for construction or completion of the station at this site has yet to be revealed, but all projects funded under this round of the program are scheduled to be operational by June 30, 2022.

“The end result of that, after a considerable amount of time, we’ll have a telephone service within Linville – a reliable service,” Mr Kirby said.

“Personally I’m pretty happy that I actually got up off my backside and did it. You’ve got to stand up and be counted, stand up and do what needs to be done.”

The nearby Mount Kilcoy is another isolated area that is set to be covered by the program.

In the Lockyer Valley, Thornton will be one of the sites to receive a new base station.

The full list of sites can be found here.


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