In another case of a community being ignored, NBN are going ahead with a 45-metre data tower for Main Arm.
NBN says they sent letters to residents within two kilometres of the site, yet there are a significant number of households within that range that didn’t get notification.
One of the main concerns is the proposed tower’s proximity to not one but two school boundaries.
The education department policy is that telecommunications infrastructure of this sort should not be placed within 500 metres of any school, yet this structure will be closer than 500 metres to Durrumbul Public School and Durrumbul Community Pre-School.
Many residents in the surrounding areas say they had no notification about the tower and those who have responded against the proposal say they are not being heard.
Spokesperson for the residents, Anton Vanderbyl, says that it comes as no surprise that NBN are ignoring the expressed majority community will.
‘They are proceeding with what is now essentially a threat to deliver a service that will emit an uninsurable toxic pollutant into the Main Arm environment and cause fear of harm to its inhabitants.
‘Governments have now legislated away any valid means by which communities can object to an assault such as this and have substituted perfunctory and dismissive consultation instead.
‘However the outdated standard which NBN claims to comply with does not operate in isolation of the legal framework, therefore actions in this direction, now the only recourse, are now in play.’
In response to a repeated request from The Echo asking how many submissions were received and how many for, and how many against, there was silence from NBN Co.
A spokesperson, did manage to say that ‘NBN Co has carefully reviewed and responded to 25 community submissions regarding the Main Arm Fixed Wireless facility.
‘After careful consideration of the feedback, the construction of the tower will proceed to provide more than 150 premises in the region necessary access to broadband, which is well above those services currently available across the Byron Hinterland where ADSL speeds are amongst the lowest ranking in the country.
NBN Co is finalising design work and construction will be scheduled thereafter. It’s anticipated the facility will be in operation by September 2019.