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April 14, 2021

Byron council refuses Telstra permission for tower

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One family's protest outside yesterday's Byron Shire Council meeting against the proposed siting of Telstra's 4G tower in Ocean Shores. Photo Hans Lovejoy
One family’s protest outside yesterday’s Byron Shire Council meeting against the proposed siting of Telstra’s 4G tower in Ocean Shores. Photo supplied

Chris Dobney

Telstra will have to return to the drawing board in planning for its Ocean Shores 4G tower after Byron Shire Council yesterday voted unanimously to refuse the telco permission to build one on council land in Player Parade.

Community campaign spokesperson Ray Musgrave told Echonetdaily the group members were ‘over the moon’ about the decision.

‘The community, which was the reason this whole thing got over the line in the end, was so supportive and all of our group is really pleased. We’re having a bit of a celebration this afternoon,’ he said.

‘Six weeks ago, when it first went to the council in December, it was probably going to be completely the opposite decision. In the last six weeks it’s entirely changed and to get a nine-nil result like this is just unbelievable.

He said it ‘spoke volumes’ that all the councillors listened to the community’s arguments, which he attributed to ‘the enormous variety amongst ourselves’, including ‘professionals, carpenters, real estate agents and mums ‘n’ dads’.

He added that the proximity of the proposed tower to the local school and pre-school also struck a chord.

According to Mr Musgrave, the principal of Ocean Shore Primary School, Chris Hauritz said, ‘if it came down to the phones or the kids, the kids would win’.

Ocean Shores preschool director Sharon Gray also threw her weight behind the campaign.

Mr Musgrave said the community were not opposed to Telstra building a 4G tower in the suburb so long as it was more than 500 metres from schools and homes.

‘Providing they can do that, they won’t have an issue with us. Because we think that’s a reasonably safe distance – and that’s exercising the precautionary principle.

Byron Shire councillors and Ocean Shores residents at a Telstra site inspection in January 2015. Council subsequently refused Telstra permission to build a tower on its land.
Byron Shire councillors and Ocean Shores residents at a Telstra site inspection in January 2015. Council subsequently refused Telstra permission to build a tower on its land.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Well done community! It takes energy, money, time, persistence, lobbying, leg-work, re-arranging schedules and life, to organise a community group response to bad development proposals… and you did it well.
    Good that ALL Councillors saw the wisdom in this.
    Thank you to the team who succeeded in protecting our residential and educational space.

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