Warrnambool Telstra exchange fire investigation under way

TELSTRA’S top-level review of the devastating Warrnambool exchange fire started yesterday and will continue at tonight’s public forum.

Review leader David Piltz toured the Koroit Street exchange to examine fire damage and repair efforts almost a fortnight after the November 22 fire.

He will join other Telstra delegates including regional manager Bill Mundy and head of business Will Irving at the forum which starts at 7.30pm in the Lighthouse Theatre.

Warrnambool City Council, local MPs and Commerce Warrnambool representatives will also be there to help facilitate the flow of information for disgruntled customers seeking answers and compensation.

The fire knocked out 65,000 landlines, 15,000 broadband connections and more than 80 mobile phone towers. 

Late yesterday there were still 3500 landlines and 5500 ADSL lines yet to be connected in Warrnambool and nearby district.

Telstra’s corporate affairs manager James Howe said the company was still confident of achieving its target of having almost all services restored by Saturday morning.

“Given the amount of new cabling (more than 50 kilometres) that has gone in, we are down to the intricate rewiring of  landlines,” Mr Howe said. He said technicians were also being assigned to fix crossed connections and other individual faults.

“Customers should call 1800 073 900 to report problems and we’ll send technicians to fix it,” Mr Howe said.

“Our review has started with David visiting the exchange. It will be a number of months before a report is finalised.”

Telstra leaders were in Hamilton yesterday for a community forum and similar meetings will be held next week in Portland, Casterton and other towns across the region. 

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