Residents call on council to approve Lynwood NBN tower
URALBA families are calling on Ballina Shire Council to approve a controversial application for 45m high NBN tower at Lynwood.
A decision on the tower will be made at the council's meeting on Thursday.
Primary school teacher and mother of four, Melanie Kirkby, said more than 200 children in the Uralba area would be left without access to vital internet services if the application was refused.
"Children as young as 5 are already using internet programs for their homework, which in Uralba is virtually impossible due to an overloaded, incredibly slow ADSL service," she said.
"As the rest of Australia gains access to this super fast internet, expectations of what children are able to do online will increase dramatically.
"So what is an annoying problem now will be catastrophic for our kids in the not too distant future.
"Without access to fast broadband our children will not be able to complete their online homework, affecting their ability to compete with their peers in an increasingly internet driven education system."
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Business owner Tony Bazzana said many surrounding areas already had the NBN, or would have it soon.
"Without the NBN Uralba will literally be left in the dark, making it a difficult place to live for everyone especially young families," he said.
Council staff, in a report to be discussed at Thursday's meeting, have recommended the Lynwood tower application be refused.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has told the council that if the tower was to go ahead, it would have to be lit by a medium intensity flashing red light at the highest point and marked in alternating red and white bands.
It would be classified as a "hazardous object".
Management at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport also wrote to the council, saying the tower would be in the take off/approach path.
The council report - which recommends refusal - states the "provision of high speed IT services to a substantial group of local residents is clearly an important public interest matter as these services are vital business and social infrastructure".
The report's conclusion states: "In this case, the provision of the service also has serious implications for another important community asset and service - the Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport."