The closure of the CDMA network will cost at least one farmer more than $22,400 and that is without getting a new phone, according to Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell.
“The large scale irrigator operating out of Bowen in North Queensland will have to replace 16 centre pivot irrigation pumps, that are controlled remotely, using the CDMA network at a cost of $1400 each,” Senator Boswell said.
“This is just one example of the consequences of closing down the CDMA network that the Rudd Labor Government has not considered.”
“On top of the pump replacement cost, the farm has to purchase 50 new mobile phones for its staff.”
“I really don’t think that the Minister Stephen Conroy has thought through the CDMA network closure, particularly the side-effects that farmers such as this are faced with.”
“Telstra encouraged rural producers to use remote access networks through their famous ‘sheep at the drinking trough’ advertising campaign. Now these same rural producers have been thrown to the wolves.”
“The affected operation is a family owned business with a team of 400 staff involved in the management and operations for some 10,000 acres of fertile farming land throughout Australia.”
“This is an unwelcome cost burden to any business, let alone one that the company has had less than two weeks to finally resolve,” Senator Boswell said.
“The Minister must stop the closure of the CDMA network and resolve this unforeseen issue before the network is shutdown.”
“This is just one example of the added cost burden to one producer. It is impossible to know how many more people are facing problems that are this bad or worse.”
“There must be thousands of people affected by the network closure including transport and logistics companies, remote councils and aboriginal communities using the Globalstar system and irrigators who rely on the system.”
“Rural industry is copping a battering from the Rudd Labor Government with dismantling of the Single Desk for Wheat, raiding the Telecommunications Fund, taking the toolkits off Agricultural and Horticultural apprentices and cutting back Farmbis.”
“The closure of the CDMA network is just another example of how the Rudd Labor Government makes a decision and doesn’t care who in rural industry it hurts.”