Rural residents pleas for phone book deliveries ignored

WHITE PAGES: Ann Adams from Oura is featured on the 2017/18 phone book. Picture: Les Smith.
WHITE PAGES: Ann Adams from Oura is featured on the 2017/18 phone book. Picture: Les Smith.

Phone books won’t be delivered to the people that need them the most, with residents from the region’s farming areas still waiting six months after the books arrived on city doorsteps.

Residents from Illabo, Bethungra, Eurongilly and Lockhart, many of whom rely on landlines and struggle with patchy internet connections, have missed out. 

Di Mitchell, Illabo post office manager, who has traditionally distributed the books for the area, said she’s received none for the 180 odd residents of Illabo and Bethungra. 

“Quite a few people around here don’t have mobiles, many have rung me up wanting their directories but I just have to say I haven’t got any,” Mrs Mitchell said.

Mrs Mitchell contacted Sensis, who publish the phone book, and was told there were none left. 

She’s contacted the group three times and been able to get no further than “you’ll be right for next year.” 

A spokeswoman from Sensis today confirmed there was no stock of the Wagga directory left.

Further comment was requested from Sensis as to why farming areas had missed out, but no one was made available to answer the Junee Southern Cross’s questions. 

On July 18 this year, The Daily Advertiser reported Erin Williamson from Sensis said customers who had been overlooked could obtain a copy from Australia Post.

However post offices in Junee and Illabo both confirmed they’ve received no books or information regarding distribution this year. 

It’s a particularly cruel blow for those who have paid to advertise in the directory, including Mrs Mitchell. 

She paid $284 for an advertisement for the Illabo Hotel. 

“They’re still taking out my money every fortnight even though no one has their book,” she said. 

Secretary of the Riverina Country Women’s Association, Jenny Chobdzynski says the problem is widespread. Their president, Ann Adams from Oura, appears on the cover of this year’s book. 

Ms Chobdzynski reported many residents in Glenfield never received a book and it was a hot topic at the recent Wagga show. 

“We were chatting to a gentleman from Lockhart at the show and they’ve had the same problem,” she said. 

“We’re considering writing to the CWA state officer to see if anything can be done.”