Residents’ disappointment over new mobile tower in Cheyne Beach area

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Email Shannon Smith
Cheynes Beach Caravan Park owners Allan and Joanne Marsh say phone coverage in the area is still lacking.
Camera IconCheynes Beach Caravan Park owners Allan and Joanne Marsh say phone coverage in the area is still lacking. Credit: Shannon Smith

Cheynes residents have expressed disappointment over a new mobile phone tower, which was switched on last week.

The new base station, located north-east of Cheynes Beach on the South Coast Highway, was activated under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Telstra regional general manager Boyd Brown said the improved mobile signal would “change people’s lives”.

But this week Cheynes Park Caravan Park owner Allan Marsh said the new station had done little to improve signal for the small town, the beach and his business.

“We were told that there was funding to improve the signal for Cheynes Beach, and obviously it is a big area but it has done nothing for the beach where people are,” he said. “The signal is not great, and down in some of our cabins you still get no signal.

“One of our neighbours can see the tower and he said it has got a little bit better, but we are still only talking one bar.

“My phone has actually dropped back to 3G.”

During his interview with the Advertiser, Mr Marsh was standing in his front office when the phone call dropped out — a frustration he said he hoped the tower would prevent.

He said the poor signal made it harder to run a business and tourists wanted reassurance they could call someone if they needed to.

“From a safety point of view, there is nothing around us for miles,” he said. “If there is an incident around the beach, there is no signal.

“We still lose the signal driving down Cheyne Road.

“We won’t get another round of funding for anything like that closer to the beach for years I would imagine.”

Mr Brown said there were many factors that influenced mobile coverage, including the distance from a tower as well as terrain and vegetation.

He said the final decisions on locations for the new base stations were made through the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

“Depending on their location, we can work with locals to assess their mobile coverage levels and determine if a mobile booster will enhance their signal,” he said.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails