The mayors of the regions affected by the Telstra outage in western Victoria are meeting to discuss what they want the inquiry into the communications blackout to examine.
The Federal Government has agreed to an inquiry into the cause and ramifications of a fire last Thursday at the Telstra exchange at Warrnambool in south-west Victoria.
Sixty-thousand mobile and landline services in western Victoria were cut by the fire.
The Warrnambool council says its initial and conservative estimates put the cost to the town's economy at $2.5 million per working day.
Warrnambool Mayor Michael Neoh says he wants to know how the fire started, how it was responded to and how it can be prevented from happening again.
"I'm meeting with three other mayors from the south-west on Friday," he said.
"It's pretty much a unified voice.
What we'll be doing is we'll be going back to council and our communities to ask what type of questions and how we might shape the terms of reference for that inquiry.
"We'll feed that back through our local federal Member, Dan Tehan.
"I think the key question that was raised with me at a community forum that we had last Friday was, what's going to be done to prevent something like this from happening in the future? "Obviously we will hopefully find out the cause and why there wasn't mitigation in place." Mr Tehan, the Member for Wannon, says federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has agreed to a full-scale inquiry.
"He came back to me ...
and said that he was happy to establish an inquiry but he wanted to take some time to consider the form that that should take and make sure that all parties would cooperate and to ensure that we get the right results," he said.
"It will look in 'a' ...
the cause and 'b', what steps need to be taken to limit the damage from such one-off events occurring in the future, and there is obviously national ramifications as to what happened." In a statement, Senator Conroy said the inquiry would include a public forum on the impact of the outage.
Progress It has been a week since more than 60,000 services were lost and most of Warrnambool and Port Fairy are still without landline services.
However, Telstra says it is making progress.
Residents in Portland, Timboon, Casterton and Panmure can now use their landlines and nearly 4,000 landlines have been restored in Hamilton.
Dunkeld was previously in a complete communications blackout but now has mobile coverage but in Tower Hill, Koroit and Warrnambool east there are still no mobile, landlines or internet connections.
Telstra's Bill Mundy says it is still aiming to restore all landlines by tomorrow.
"If we are looking like we're going to miss that particular target then we'll look to keep the community informed of that," he said.
Telstra has also welcomed the inquiry into the blackout.