NBN Co has announced a new rollout schedule for the northern rivers but is already meeting stiff opposition in some areas.
Residents in the Barkers Vale area of Kyogle shire, Lillian Rock in Lismore’s council area, and Clothiers Creek in Tweed shire are refusing to sell land for towers to be erected.
They have formed the OREAD project, which is aimed at protecting ‘humans and wildlife’ from the alleged effects of radiation from NBN Co towers.
OREAD founder Annum Luca told Echonetdaily that OREAD had been collating information on the health impacts of radiation, how these emissions affect cellular activity and the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow as well as a other effects on the hormonal system.
Mr Luca said residents from Homeleigh through to Barkers Vale had undertaken full blood counts though health professionals to form a baseline to refer to should towers be erected near them.
‘Any deterioration in the blood through a follow-up test after residents have been exposed to radiation from a tower could be grounds for litigation,’ he said.
NBN Co announced this week that an estimated 33.200 premises would be connected to the network by June 2016.
There are now 26 towers either built or in preparation across Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Lismore, Ballina and Byron local government areas, and two new subdivisions in Wollongbar and Mullumbimby with built-in fibre optic cable.
Several areas that now have NBN fixed wireless towers in the planning phase, include Nimbin, Kyogle, McKees Hill, Whiporie, and Rosebank.
Despite the resistance from some areas, NBN Co said it was committed to bringing fast broadband to all Australians as quickly as possible.
‘Access to fast broadband can provide a range of benefits for homes and businesses such as improved opportunities to work from home, better access to online education tools and more options for on-demand entertainment,’ spokesperson Darren Rudd said.
But Mr Luca said residents were not convinced that towers were the way forward, saying they would deliver dangerous, out-dated technology.
It’s understood that residents residnets along Lillian Rock Road have refused offers by NBN Co to host towers on their land, despite financial incentives understood to amount to $100,000 over a 20-year period.
‘Out of all the areas in the Northern Rivers NBN has admitted we are putting up the most resistance with no one “selling out ” for an NBN tower to radiate the district,’ Mr Luca said.
More information on the new construction schedule is available at nbnco.com.au/rolloutplan