Lismore City Council’s (LCC) endorsement of two NBN fixed-wireless base stations is a sell-out of the community, according to its Greens councillor, who believes it is a cheap option using second-rate technology.
Last night Council voted to lease a portion of Council-owned land to establish NBN radio base stations for wireless broadband at quarry sites in Jiggi and Blakebrook.
Greens Cr Vanessa Ekins voted against the move.
Council reports indicated that NBN Co ‘undertook sufficient public consultation’ and had ‘addressed any public concerns’.
Cr Ekins’s primary objection to the 40-metre-high microwave towers is their second-rate technology.
‘What we really need is fibre optic to the home; we are not even getting that in Lismore,’ she said.
‘These towers are neither healthy nor sustainable and they cost a fortune to run in electricity every year.’
According to Cr Ekins, ‘Ericsson said they only had a few [people] against the towers during the public consultation.’
‘People’s demand for internet access increases all the time. I am sure these people would choose fibre optic technology if it were available.’
‘The demand on these towers will keep increasing and they will not be able to meet it. They will need more towers… we should be getting fibre optics in the ground in the first place. It costs more initially but it is better for us, more sustainable and a long-term solution.’
Cr Ekins is concerned about the growing impact of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
‘Although these towers will be in quarries, there are still 90 homes around each of the proposed sites,’ she said.
Cr Ekins entertained the chamber with an exhibition of ‘electrosmog’ detection.
Electrosmog is the invisible ‘pulsing’ wave emission that is given off by mobile phones, cell towers, cordless phones, microwave ovens, computer screens, routers, music players, baby monitors, wireless alarms, wireless PCs and PDAs – and even lamps and electrical wiring.
The smog meter she brought in highlighted the high levels present in the chambers.
‘From my readings this is a toxic work environment. It might be okay for us over a six-hour period but people who are living near the towers will be subject to it all the time,’ she said.
Cr Ekins wanted to raise the awareness of invisible radiation as she said it ‘causes harm to our bodies’.
The solution to ridding the electromagnetism from your body, according to Cr Ekins, is to ‘walk on the earth in your bare feet and hug a tree. It actually helps Earth us as we are electrical bodies.’