NBN towers ‘catalyst’ for progress
THE National Broadband Network is "critical" to the future of the Northern Rivers, and opposition to wireless towers should not hinder its rollout, according to Lismore City Council's economic development manager.
Mark Batten said while some people would always oppose the towers, he said it was "immaterial" whether the NBN took the form of fixed wireless towers or fibre cable, saying he was satisfied with the safety of fixed wireless technology.
"Some people just don't want them (towers) anywhere near them - does that mean it shouldn't happen? In my humble opinion, no," Mr Batten said.
He likened the NBN to the 21st century version of rail and road.
"The business superhighway analogy may be clichéd but it is nonetheless, an absolute truism," he said.
"Business and industry will concentrate around accessible ports. They always have and always will.
"That's why it's critical regional centres like Lismore City, the historical business capital of the Far North Coast, embrace this.
"It's a catalyst for the delivery of much better health and education, wealth creation and retention, population retention, jobs growth, and community wellbeing.
"There's also the intergenerational discussion.
"If we don't get behind this as a community, and other communities do, there will be a win-lose situation.
"Whether we like it or not, we may well be left behind."
Under a $1.3 billion national contract with Ericsson, 16 fixed wireless towers are planned for the Lismore LGA to access hamlets and rural properties in steep terrain. Hundreds more are earmarked for similar areas across the east coast.
Towns of more than 1000 dwellings were supposed to get fibre delivered to the home under the former Labor Government.