Towamba residents mark Mobile Black Spot Program with sausage sizzle

Towamba residents Joy and Tony Ovington making the most of the new mobile coverage.
Towamba residents Joy and Tony Ovington making the most of the new mobile coverage.

Nothing launches a new phone tower like a sausage sizzle and casual get together at a community hall.

Such an event took place at Towamba on Thursday morning as Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott and Telstra community engagement specialist Ann Jakle and her Telstra team from Canberra met with local residents at the community hall.

Despite the phone tower being active for most of spring, Towamba residents still came together to acknowledge the infrastructure as part of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Cr Tapscott celebrated the occasion my presenting a speech from her iPad using the improved technology.

Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott

Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott

“We all know severe fire and weather has left their mark on this community and the threat’s always there,” she said.

“Today’s launch of this new mobile base station will help ease that sense of isolation that I know many of you have felt during those tough times when you’re trying to get to emergency services.

“You are a resilient community, one that has always looked out for each other and found a way around the challenges that you’ve faced. This new technology doesn’t replace that, but hopefully will strengthen the systems and tools that you already have in place as such a strong community.”

Tony Ovington, Telstra community engagement specialist Ann Jakle and Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott at Towamba.

Tony Ovington, Telstra community engagement specialist Ann Jakle and Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott at Towamba.

Cr Tapscott also highlighted the new opportunities residents in Towamba would enjoy, such as better communication with friends and family and business opportunities.

Some residents joked about being able to make a phone call from their kitchen and not outside standing on one leg, while members of the rural fire service stressed the importance the technology would have when tackling fires.