A phone tower that Barnaby Joyce fought for ended up on the northern NSW property of long-time friend and mining baron Gina Rinehart, who gets an annual fee to host the tower. Locals are baffled why the tower was put there over another location, as it’s plagued with reception problems.
The Northern Daily Leader reports that Kingstown’s community in Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce’s New England electorate campaigned hard for the tower, switched on two weeks ago, to be co-located with a police and emergency services tower at the highest point in the district.
But it was built instead at Sundown Valley Pastoral Company, bought by Ms Rinehart’s pastoral arm Hancock Prospecting in August last year. Landowners are paid a yearly fee by telecommunications companies to have towers placed on their property.
Kingstown resident Jeff Condren led the charge for a tower to be funded by the federal government’s Mobile Blackspot Program and called it an «epic fail».