State Government takes a stand on phone lines on subdivisions

State Government takes a stand on phone lines on subdivisions

A BALGA resident is encouraging people to have a say on a State Government proposal to make developers provide phone and internet connections on subdivided lots.

Amy Blitvich bought a subdivided block in Balga, built a home and was slapped with a $10,000 bill to install telecommunications infrastructure for a phone line.

Ms Blitvich consulted with Telstra who informed her that she or the developer needed to pay for the works.

She then sought help from Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman who helped lobby Telstra to order the developer to pay, and was successful.

The State Government released a draft Fibre Ready Telecommunications Infrastructure Position Statement for public comment on May 23, after Ms Freeman raised Ms Blitvich’s issue in parliament last year.

The statement will make it a condition for developers to provide infrastructure on new lots at the subdivision stage.

Currently, there are no conditions for developers to provide telecommunications infrastructure or fibre-ready facilities.

Ms Blitvich encouraged people to make public submissions and support the changes.

“I think that it is a very positive step forward because it is closing a loophole that shouldn’t exist in the first place and causing a lot of people headaches,” she said.

“We were first home buyers and we were just doing the best we could, we didn’t know the ins and outs of the system.

“It is hard enough for people to get into the property market by making these changes.

“Starting the process of making these changes, it will stop people, especially young people, from being caught out and front out money they don’t have.

“I think people should be supportive of the fact that telecommunications is an essential service and something that should be part of the planning regulations.”

Ms Freeman said developers should comment on the statement as there were more subdivisions in place.

She said she would be talking to Stirling councillors to ensure they were aware of the proposed changes and the need for councils to make comment.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the State Government wanted to make sure infrastructure was in place for new homes as part of the Metronet plan.

The statement is available for public comment at https://consultation.dplh.wa.gov.au/