National first for tireless volunteer

Midwest Times
A heavy downpour failed to dampen spirits at the launch of the Mac Holt Tower at the Kalbarri National Park. Unveiling the monument were Supt Craig Smith (Department of Fire and Emergency Services), Mac Holt, Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown, along with son Anthony Holt, Christine Holt and Alexandra Holt.
Camera IconA heavy downpour failed to dampen spirits at the launch of the Mac Holt Tower at the Kalbarri National Park. Unveiling the monument were Supt Craig Smith (Department of Fire and Emergency Services), Mac Holt, Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown, along with son Anthony Holt, Christine Holt and Alexandra Holt. Credit: Telstra

In a national first, Telstra has dedicated a mobile base station in Kalbarri National Park to honour and recognise a former local councillor and volunteer with the State Emergency Service.

It is now known as the Mac Holt Tower.

Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown said a unique set of circumstances prompted Telstra to team up with the Shire of Northampton to recognise Kalbarri local Malcolm Holt’s tireless efforts to deliver mobile coverage to the park.

Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan MLA, DFES commissioner Darren Klemm and Shire of Northampton vice-president Shane Krakouer joined family, friends and colleagues at a special function on the site last Thursday.

Mr Brown said the mobile site, called The Loop, had been officially opened in December 2017, but following an approach from the Shire of Northampton, Telstra decided a name change was in order.

“Community safety is a priority for Telstra,” he said.

“When we heard about Mac Holt’s crusade that went on for many years pushing for additional mobile coverage, we thought it was entirely appropriate to recognise his efforts in this way.”

Mr Brown said this was a national first for Telstra.

“We have never before named a mobile base station after a member of the community,” he said.

“When you hear what Mac achieved it presented a compelling case for this site to be dedicated in his honour.”

Mr Brown said Mr Holt’s focus on delivering mobile coverage to the park came after attending a number of rescues as an SES volunteer and working 24/7 with local teams to evacuate injured tourists.

“Mac recognised the need for mobile communication and the obvious benefits that would deliver in co-ordinating and speeding up the recovery process,” he said.

“Through his tireless efforts as a local councillor with the Shire and his SES role, he kept lobbying about the ‘duty of care’ and who was going to take responsibility to enhance mobile coverage.”

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