LEAVE a message is the all too familiar response received by those seeking to call residents of Boat Harbour.
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Residents in Boat Harbour are concerned that the switch to NBN will see no telecommunications available in the village area particularly in the event of a power outage.
There is also this issue of it taking longer to report accidents and incidents in the ocean.
There are many visitors to the area that stand on the rocks and may not be aware of the risks of freak waves or be able to deal with a rescue situation.
Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer told News Of The Area, “It is worrying to hear that some people in Boat Harbour potentially do not have access to phone services in an emergency, this is a matter that needs to be rectified as soon as possible, and has gone on too long.”
He believes that the people of Boat Harbour deserve basic mobile phone reception.
Port Stephens Councillor Jaimie Abbott told News Of the Area, “The Federal Member for Paterson must put pressure on the Government to get this service improved.
“With residents experiencing delays in service delivery when switching to the NBN they are being left without working phones in Boat Harbour homes, which could become a vital issue in an emergency,” she said.
Councillor Sarah Smith said, “This is a ridiculous situation which Boat Harbour residents are facing, it impacts the ability of small businesses to operate in the area and endangers residents.”
There are also concerns within the community around people attending the Solace Garden at Boat Harbour and not being able to reach LifeLine which could put a vulnerable person at great risk.
By Marian SAMPSON