The Manjimup Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written to network provider Telstra over the lack of service the area has been experiencing in recent months. The letter urged Telstra to address the “poor mobile and internet coverage” in the Manjimup district which affected both businesses and the health and safety of residents. Written by chamber president Bevan Eatts, the letter states with the timber industry’s imminent closure the need for new industry to come to Manjimup is paramount and this can only happen with high quality and fast communications. “Manjimup is currently facing the closure of the timber industry and the need for advanced technology is crucial to attracting new industries that will absorb some of the impacts the closure will bring and stop the downward spiral of the economic activity,” he said. “This is a priority and must be addressed quickly.” Mr Eatts said the Manjimup agriculture sector had local, national and international connections and to maintain and strengthen those ties there needed to be the adequate communications. “As a major industrial and farming town producing enormous amounts of fresh products for local, national and international markets, the ability to have access to high quality connectivity is essential in productivity and innovation,” he said. Mr Eatts said another major concern of the chamber was the inability to contact anyone during times of crisis including bushfires due to unreliable service. He said shire residents experienced complete dead zones during the recent out-of-control bushfires in neighbouring Bridgetown and Denmark which not only posed a threat to lives but also affected people contacting others to offer support. “Not only were we unable to access emergency information, we were also unable to contact neighbours for voluntary emergency assistance,” the letter said. “This is life threatening and intolerable. “We trust you will consider our complaint as a matter of urgency.” The letter was presented at the chamber’s general meeting on Sunday night.