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Byron Shire
January 31, 2023

Ballina council approves NBN tower at Uralba

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A telecommunications tower will be built at Uralba but Ballina Shire Council will not take any responsibility for the structure.

Despite a recommendation from the manager of the Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport that the tower would infringe on the flight zone, councllors backed the majority wish of surrounding residents in approving the tower.

The 45-metre tower will be built at Dees Lane, Lynwood, and will provide wireless broadband to surrounding residnets.

Cr Keith Johnson, going against the staff recommendation that the tower be refused, moved for approval with certain conditions.

He noted that Civil Aviation Safety Authority guidelines needed to be followed and that NBN Co be responsible for maintenance and liability.

The council had heard concerns that the proposed towere encroached on the flightplath on the western approach to the airport.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority had previously advised that while the tower was a potential hazard, it could still be built if the building was painted with red stripes and it had a flashing light at the highest point.

Concerns were raised by the airport manager however that the modifications would result in the council being responsible.

Cr Johnson, a former Royal Australian Air Force officer, argued that the tower would improve aircraft safety by providing a reference point in an area where some trees were the same height.

The packed public gallery, the majority of whom had been lobbying for the tower for its promised improved internet access, cheered when the tower was approved.

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  1. People are such idiots, addicted to their WiFi. One day a plane will crash because of this tower and then they will be crying, but too late.

  2. Phaedra…wake up – the speed of change is so fast now that without broadband we will not be able to do most things in life. It gives the ability to stay in your own home another 10 years instead of going to a nursing home; its essential for education; it will be essential for banking, services and everything we use. And that is a fact and its happening now. We are just well behind what is normal elsewhere.

  3. Wired Internet is the safest and fastest connectivity. Lloyds of London will no longer insure for health issues related to cell towers, mobile phones or wifi devices. If a tower is placed on private property and telco pays $20,000 a year for the contract, it’s up to the property owner to take out insurance against health claims from residents in the area. An insurance that is no longer provided by insurers!

  4. Thank goodness for the common sense of Ballina’s councillors. The story forgot to mention the tower was evaluated by three national aviation authorities and all said it would not pose a threat if it was painted with a light on top. Council went with the advice of the experts!

    It is very disappointing to see the “Not in my Backyard” partition of some 1000 signatures being presented to the Ballina Shire Councillor as of the 20th Aug.
    As I class myself as a local now, I have spoken to many of you who have signed the partition, But after my open discussion, there comment were “We did not know of That”, a distortion of the facts again. may be they do not know how to present a Partition objectively for open debate.

    NBN, Visionstream were very factual in there “Flyer of the 16th July15”, the below is a cut and past from same

    NBN TM wishes to provide the community with some facts about aviation safety and regulations, and about the safety of its approved fixed wireless facility at 11 Dees Lane Lynwood, following the anonymous distribution of an inaccurate flyer in recent weeks.

    We are pleased to provide the broader community with the same accurate and carefully researched information that was made available to Ballina Shire Council and to residents who attended the 28 May 2015 Council meeting.

    Fact: There are trees taller than the approved facility at Lynwood.

    Numerous trees in the vicinity of the tower at Lynwood also protrude into the OLS ‐ and one tree in particular protrudes more than 8 meters higher than the nbnTM tower. These trees remain unlit obstacles protruding into the airport OLS.

    The lit nbn TM tower will provide an identifiable marker to pilots in an area where tall trees are unidentified in the dark. For this reason, a number of Councillors agreed with expert advice that the lit tower would actually result in an improvement to aviation safety: “It will in fact be a better visual signal and a better navigational aid for planes that are using our approach…we have to remember there are trees in this area that are higher than this. ” (Cr Williams).

    Fact: CASA can advise against structures being built if they present unacceptable risk to safety.

    CASA can in fact advise any local council or airport operator that in their assessment, a proposed structure presents an unacceptable level of risk to aviation safety. Such advice from CASA would result in a structure not being approved, but in this case no such advice was provided.

    This is fact not fiction from the NBN Visionstream info sheet for all

    The question I ask of the “Not in my Backyard” partition group
    What is to happen to the obstructions that are well above the Tower (8 Meters) there are many other’s of satellite identification
    Maybe the Green Groups will be very happy with you, And I would say our locally knit group of Lynwood and Uralba residents, If these trees are removed
    Now there is an obstruction you need to address before you get to our Tower height.


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