News

NBN towers a 'national embarrassment' says North Coast mayor

NBN truck. 

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
NBN truck. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

BYRON Shire mayor Simon Richardson says the fixed wireless towers used by the NBN on the Northern Rivers are a "national embarrass- ment”.

The comments follow Byron Shire Council's threat to slap an injunction on a controversial NBN tower after a campaign by residents angry over a lack of consultation.

NBN Co says the 49.5m tower at 308 Coorabell Rd is expected to be online in mid-2017 and and will deliver high speed broadband to about 190 homes in the area.

But a group of nearby locals feel they were not properly consulted.

The mayor said the council had voted unanimously to request the NBN stop work on the tower until it explained in detail how it had fulfilled its obligations to neighbours.

If not, the council would put an injunction on the tower in the Land and Environment Court.

"We just want to double check through NBN that they have met all their requirements to the letter,” Cr Richardson said.

"They have either done it and they can prove it, or they haven't done it.

"If they have (met their requirements), then the process continues, if they haven't we want to ensure it's done properly.

"At the very least local residents should be satisfied that NBN or Telstra have not just looked for the cheapest option but actually tried to minimise the impact on neighbours, had a thorough consultation, (and) explained why it has to be there and not elsewhere.

"My understanding is not one of the residents have had that conversation with NBN Co.

"The adjoining neighbours felt they were completely out of the loop.”

In a response to questions, NBN Co said it had sent letters sent to 208 properties located within a 2km radius of the proposed facility, put a public notice in the Byron Shire News on August 18, half-page ads in the Byron Shire News and the Byron Echo, and held a community information session.

It said that of the feedback forms received at the September 8 information session, five were supportive of the facility and six were opposed.

"In total NBN received 10 submissions - seven objections and three in support,” an NBN Co spokeswoman said.

In terms of health implications, NBN Co said the World Health Organisation and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency had identified "no established adverse health effects” from the fixed wireless technology used by the NBN.

"The towers emit less radio energy than a taxi's two-way radio,” the spokeswoman said.



PHOTO GALLERY: Splendour Day 2 in over 80 photos

Catfish and the Bottlemen at Splendour in the Grass 2017 at the main stage on Day 2.

Dune Rats arrive to a killer set on motorbikes, and more.

INSIDE SCOOP: Which celebrities surprised us at Splendour

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

OPINION: Splendour reached peak glitter

Courtney Smoulden and Dylan Barker sporting some of the extensive glitter available at Splendour in the Grass 2017 near Byron Bay.

2017 is, officially, the year of Splendour in the Glitter

Local Partners

New Thor: Ragnarok trailer is everything you could want

THOR fans around the world have been waiting for another glimpse of Chris Hemsworth as the God of Lightning before the November premiere of Thor: Ragnarok.

Check out the 22 women who'll chase the next Bachelor

Meet the women vying for Matty J's heart on The Bachelor.

The 22 women of the Bachelor have been revealed

'What gig?' Drummer left out of Powderfinger reunion

Former Powderfinger drummer Jon Coghill works as a presenter and journalist for ABC Sunshine Coast.

Former drummer learns of reunion gig after the fact

FINAL PHONE CALL: Princes’ regret over last words to Diana

Prince William and Prince Harry have opened up about their mum, Princess Diana, in a new documentary. Picture: ITVSource:Supplied

Two princes regret rushing the last phonecall with their mother

Karl Stefanovic breaks his silence on divorce, new love

Karl poses for Stellar’s July 23 issue. Picture: Steven Chee Source:Stellar Magazine

Stefanovic on his marriage breakdown, new girlfriend

What's on the small screen this week

Matty J and Osher Gunsberg in a scene from The Bachelor.

WINNERS will be crowned on MasterChef and Australian Ninja Warrior.

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'