Ballarat crews assist in south-west Telstra blaze

BALLARAT firefighters were required to help fight a blaze in Warrnambool yesterday that left at least 60,000 Telstra customers without mobile, landline or internet services.
Nanjing Night Net

The fire severely damaged 60 per cent of the Telstra Exchange in Warrnambool early yesterday morning, crippling services in a vast area of the state’s west and south-west.

It broke out about 4.30am, with two Ballarat units dispatched to help about 5.30am.

A pumper and the Bronto ladder platform, which fights fire from height, were sent down.

The Ballarat-based ladder platform is the only equipment of its type between Melbourne and Adelaide.

A Telstra spokesman said some phone services had been restored in small pockets in Coleraine, Port Fairy and Edenhope, but it would be “at least a number of days” before all voice services in the region were operating. Internet services, however, would take longer to restore.

Telstra also says ATM and EFTPOS facilities are not available in the majority of affected areas, including major population centres Warrnambool, Portland, Camperdown and Hamilton.

Triple Zero can be accessed by mobile users, but not by landlines, although Telstra urges customers to only use it in an emergency. Some police stations and hospitals in the area have been issued with satellite phones.

The State Emergency Service 132 500 number is currently not available in the affected areas. An “exchange on wheels” has been sent to Warrnambool, along with eight satellite cells, including four flown in from Sydney.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.