Community blocked from objecting to NBN tower

THE Rosebank community opposing the NBN fixed wireless tower now under construction say they feel hamstrung by a planning policy which prevents them from objecting to the development.

Steven Davies, a spokesman for the Rosebank residents group that has consistently opposed the tower, said he was informed by the Environmental Defender's Office that the NBN was "basically exempt from all planning laws".

EDO solicitor Brendan Dobbie confirmed that the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) which regulates the towers exempt them from applying for development approval from local councils.

"Under the planning law it's my understanding you don't have to publicly exhibit the plans for these facilities," Mr Dobbie said.

"All the usual processes that go with a normal DA are not applicable.

"It's essentially a way you can fast track certain kinds of development."

Mr Dobbie said a case could be mounted in the Land and Environment Court within three months of approval but that was a much more significant step than making a council submission.

"At that stage it's really too late to object or make any submissions to the certifier," he said.

"There was the potential to challenge the consent for the (Rosebank) tower, but the time frame was quite short."

Meanwhile, Mr Davies said tension over the tower had reached boiling point in recent weeks.

"The contractors have already breached their conditions of approval by working up until 8pm in the evening, which we've complained about, but the reality is they are backed by NBN who ensure they don't have to answer to anyone," he said.

An NBN spokesman said the breach was an "isolated incident" which was unavoidable and wouldn't be repeated.



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