FUNDING seems to be the main stumbling block to erecting a mobile phone tower at bushfire-prone Dereel.
As a petition demanding a telecommunications tower in the area is set to be presented to Telstra, the company’s area general manager, Bill Mundy, said there was not enough capital for the project.
“Our long-term plans have always included improved coverage in the Dereel area,” he said. “We’re just not in the position to confirm when that might occur.”
Mr Mundy said he was more than happy to accept the petition from concerned residents.
The petition has been signed by 1200 people.
With another fire season looming, Dereel residents hope it will be enough to convince the telecommunications giant to build the vital piece of infrastructure.
One of the petition organisers, Tracey Taylor, said the document was evidence of the strong community support for a new tower.
She said it had also been signed by many people outside the area who were fed up with being unable to contact friends and relatives.
Ms Taylor said she would talk to Golden Plains Shire to organise a community meeting as soon as possible.
The lack of reception during emergencies, which was highlighted during the Dereel fires earlier this year, was also a major issue, according to Ms Taylor.
“Everybody’s jumpy, it’s fire season,” she said.