LOCALS living with a disability are helping to protect Telstra sites from bushfires as part of a partnership with House with No Steps.
The telephone exchange in Morisset is among the Telstra assets being protected by the work.
More than 20 employees are working at more than 185 Telstra telephone exchanges and mobile base station sites across the Hunter to remove potential fire hazards.
Telstra regional general manager Mike Marom said the employees maintained the sites by cutting grass, trimming trees, repairing fences, cleaning gutters and removing rubbish.
“We are proud to have partnered with House With No Steps to allocate our cleaning and grounds maintenance to people living with a disability,” Mr Marom said.
“These employees are undertaking crucial work to ensure that the grass is mowed and all fire hazards are removed."
Telstra’s national partnership with disability providers has now grown to include 13 non-profit groups such as House with No Steps around Australia, creating national employment opportunities for 522 people with a disability or from disadvantaged backgrounds in 2018, Mr Marom said.
These employees perform planned grounds maintenance at about 4,000 Telstra network sites and another 2000 grounds on a reactive basis, and are responsible for the regular cleaning of more than 700 network buildings.
Mr Marom encouraged Telstra customers to prepare their own fire safety plans.