Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and Head of NBN Local Queensland Kylie Lindsay checking out the new satellite unit which was installed at the Bundaberg Multiplex.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and Head of NBN Local Queensland Kylie Lindsay checking out the new satellite unit which was installed at the Bundaberg Multiplex.

New satellite units to keep Bundy connected during disaster

BUNDABERG residents are no strangers to natural disasters and the struggles that come with being able to stay in touch with family.

But thanks to two new NBN Skymuster satellites, residents can stay better connected with loved ones during a natural disaster.

One of the units has been installed already at the Bundaberg Multiplex, with the second to be installed at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct on Kendalls Rd.

Head of NBN Local in Queensland Kylie Lindsay said the satellites would provide Wi-Fi connectivity to anyone within the vicinity of the buildings and would also allow for Wi-Fi calling.

“As we all know, in times of disaster it’s really important to let people know you’re OK and of course your family wants to hear from you as well,” she said.

“Most of these evacuation centres have built in generation facilities, the venues for these satellite installations were actually determined by the State Emergency Services.

“They have told us where they would like these services and that’s based by a number of factors including their ability to stay connected.”

The package also includes five additional NBNCo Road Muster Trucks and 12 additional portable satellite kits which can be deployed to support communities during emergency events and the recovery process.

The satellites are currently being installed at multiple locations up and down the Queensland coast line.

“What we’re doing is a phase one install, so there will be plenty more in the Hinkler electorate coming,” she said.

“We’re working in Cairns, Townsville, Hideaway Bay, Proserpine and Gladstone.

“During the terrible bushfires we had this year down in Southern New South Wales we did go through and install a number of these satellite services and that's how this entire program came about.

“The reason was, they were so widely used down there so we’re now out proactively doing it (installations) rather than having to get our tech out onto the ground rushing trying get to natural disaster and blackzones.”

The satellite units have been funded by the Federal Government’s $8.7 million Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters Package.

Hinkler MP and Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said thanks to the new satellites people in the evacuation centres would be able to check in with friends and family and do other essential things online.

“I think anyone who remembers the 2013 floods or other disasters here recognises and acknowledges just how important communications are,” he said.

“The commonwealth has also invested money to provide additional battery back-up at the Redridge mobile phone tower, that will allow that to run much longer during a loss of power and that’s very important for the people around Childers and that Redridge area.”

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