Mrs Fay Craigie of Proserpine died after she tried to use her home alert button to call emrgency services during the Telstra outage.
Mrs Fay Craigie of Proserpine died after she tried to use her home alert button to call emrgency services during the Telstra outage.

Investigation after 000 lines wiped out

STATE and Federal governments are calling for an investigation into the Australia Day long-weekend telecommunications breakdown which caused 000 emergency services to fail.

This comes after reports of the death of two people who both tried to use their home alert buttons during the outage.

Telstra has also confirmed they have now activated an extra telecommunications route to service north Queensland in an attempt to make sure this never happens again.

Fay Craigie, 75, was found face-down on the floor of her Proserpine home with a Telstra phone and home alert button lying beside her. She died three days later.

She had tried to use her home alert button but the device, connected to the ambulance service through Telstra, failed.

In Federal Parliament last week, Member for Dawson George Christensen called for a formal investigation into the breakdown of 000 emergency phone lines and Telstra services across the state.

He has also written to the Communications Minister and the Emergency Management Minister, advising them of Mrs Craigie's death and asking them to investigate and make a public report.

He told the Whitsunday Times yesterday that he had spoken to a Telstra government relations spokesperson in Canberra this week and had been assured that Telstra was carrying out a detailed investigation.

Mr Christensen will be meeting with Telstra Wide representatives in Mackay next week.

He will also be organising a petition to be presented to the Federal Parliament.

Mr Christensen said there were two seperate issues involved - one was the outage of mobile phones and other normal Telstra services but the other was the dropping out of the 000 emergency line.

He said the mobile outage was not good but that he understood it was caused by a major natural disaster, which wiped out the services.

"The real issue is why the 000 emergency lines were also down," he said.

Mr Christensen said he would be calling on the Government to work with the telecommunications companies to make sure there was access to 000 services at all times in the future.

Meanwhile, Mrs Craigie's daughter Anne-Marie Rankmore has joined forces with Yvonne Smith of Mackay whose father also died after his home alert button failed during the Telstra outage.

Colin George Gray, 81, had a heart attack at home in Mackay on January 27 and tried to contact 000.

He died a week later.


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