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May 6, 2021

Another NBN tower sparks backlash

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Residents of the village of Burringbar in the Tweed Valley are the latest in a string of north coast communities to object to yet another large wireless broadband tower proposed for their area as the NBN rollout continues unabated.

A development application (DA) has been lodged with Tweed Shire Council for the latest facility, proposed by Visionstream on behalf of NBN Co, for a 30-metre high monopole, radio-tyransmission antennas and ancillary equipment on on a 22-hectare property at 79 Upper Burringbar Road.

Residents, especially those in and around Waranga Crescent which backs onto the property and from where the proposed monopole will be visible, say they were only given around two weeks to lodge objections to the DA, which is on exhibition till August 14.

NBN towers proposed for Rosebank and Wyrallah have sparked a backlash from those communities with fears about potential long term health risks as well as visual amentity expressed at recent public meetings.

On Monday, NBN Co representatives and contractors faced a heated meeting at Wyrallah Hall, telling concerned residents there was no scientific evidence linking towers which emit radio frequencies to adverse health impacts.

And tomorrow at Rosebank Hall from 3pm-6pm, the company representatives will hold a similar community-information session in response to objections from that village.

The residents living around the Burringbar property say their objections include the facility’s proximity to local schools and childcare centre, the tower being a hugh eyesore, a drop in property values, and potential health impacts.


Visual impact

Jackie Tilsley, in her submission on the DA, said many residents in the Waranga Crescent area oppose the tower, which they say will have a significant impact on their views.

Ms Tilsley said some homes there were less than 150 metres from the proposed facility.

‘Scientific evidence on the health risks as a result of exposure to EM (electro-magnetic) radiation is mounting,’ she said.

‘These epidemiological studies are relatively new, and as such, have not yet caught up with the technology.

‘As this new area of research evolves and new information is presented, opinions will change.’

Ms Tilsley said the facility’s location near Burringbar Primary School, Gumnuts Childcare Centre and Burringbar Sports Club and fields was ‘of grave concern’.

‘Interestingly, none of the studies that show a correlation between these towers and the incidence of cancers reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations,’ she said.

‘Despite the fact that NBN proposes an emission of .029 per cent of the allowable maximum, it now comes to light that accumulating epidemiological literature pertaining to the health effects of mobile phones and their base stations suggests that previous exposure standards based on the thermal effects of EMF (electro-magnetic field) should no longer be regarded as tenable.’

She said environmental impacts on the site needed consideration as the area’s ‘ecosystem provides a significant wildlife corridor between existing habitats’.

Ms Tilsley said the scenic landscape value of Burringbar would also be ‘unreasonably affected’.

In its DA, NBN Co says the site is appropriately located ‘so as to minimise visual impact on the immediate and surrounding area’.

It also said the facility ‘operates within all current and relevant standards and is regulated by Australian Communications and Media Authority’.

The property on which the facility is proposed to be built is owned by Edward Kuipers and Deborah Burton.

Echonetdaily was unable to contact them for comment.



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  1. While I appreciate the concerns expressed in this article, I wonder those objecting have considered the other side of the equation. With all and sundry demanding faster internet speeds, would they (and more importantly their families and children) be happy be a substandard internet connection speed?

  2. Hi All,

    Check out the North Coast NBN Tower Action Group FACEBOOK page – all data relating to speeds are listed on this site – the towers actually supply less speed than current connection options – GO FIGURE. Burringbah – please join this facebook page which is an information source for all affected communities!!!

  3. Once again the “princes & princesses precious” are out in force.
    Not in My Backyard & We will be fried by electro-magnetic waves & It will spoil the pristine idyllic
    are the objections.
    Gee we have heard all this clap trap before!
    As a rural dweller, personally I would much prefer to get fibre …though when this will be in Byron Shire is any body’s guess..not in the next 3 years at least..so much for the PROMISED priority for rural & regional folks..low priority I guess was what was meant!!
    However for rural dwellers it will be Wireless or satellite or NOTHING!
    So lets look at the objections.
    (1) Spoil the view..well this is purely subjective.I can only assume that our objectors are continually appalled by all elements of the built environment as all change the natural order (itself in constant flux..but what the hell)
    As for the significant impact on views..pull the other one. To start off significant is a statistical measure..to significantly alter something implies a major/dominant change..what one slender tower blocks the total view & spoils the total mood..boy oh boy how precious & babyish can you get!!
    (2) As for the health effects..NO data exist to indicate any negative health links..these data go back over 60 years for TV transmissions at powers many orders above the Wireless signal outputs..no links have been found.
    But I say to the electro-magnetic objectors this… the signal strengths from the Wireless Broadband are of an order similar to the electro-magnetic fields surrounding the electrical cables in your house NOW..so are you worried about the health impacts of this???? Are you prepared to remove these cables or shut off the electricity?? Likely NO!!
    As for this “‘Scientific evidence on the health risks as a result of exposure to EM (electro-magnetic) radiation is mounting,’”” ..where & what is this evidence??? I say it does not exist!
    Time to grow up folks!!!

    • Your assertions that there is no evidence for harm from EMR are completely false. There are thousands of scientific studies documenting adverse health and biological effects from it. There is also a vast difference between radio frequency microwaves and the domestic power grid. Stop parroting industry propaganda and do some reading. Government agencies, health professionals and scientists all over the world are now calling for stricter safety regulations and safer technology. I suppose you know better though, being a self-appointed “expert” on the matter.


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