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Byron Shire
April 15, 2024

Stop the NBN tower at Durrumbul Hall

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Some northern rivers residents are concerned that proposed telecommunication towers may potentially cause health problems. (File Pic)

Do you want a NBN tower in your back yard? No? Neither do many of the people who live in the Main Arm valley. Many locals are concerned about its electro-magnetic-radiation (EMR) and the impact on the scenic amenity as there are numerous towers planned throughout Main Arm to supply NBN throughout the valley. Preparation for the first tower is underway. It will be perched above Durrumbul Hall within 500m of both Durrumbul Public School and Pre-School – against education department recommendations.

‘The impact will also be felt directly by many landholders and residents who live within the amplification zone of the area of the tower,’ said one local who is opposed to the towers.

Significant concern has been raised about this issue both within the local community and with NBN directly. However, NBN has decided to go ahead against community objections. They are able to do this under the Infrastructure SEPP (State Environment Planning Policy) that allows them to side step the standard environmental and public scrutiny.

Possible 5G tower

Another concern raised by local community members is that once the tower is in place it will continue to be addd to by other telecommunications groups and that this could lead to it becoming a 5G tower. 

NBN has previously confirmed with Echonetdaily that ‘It’s not likely there’ll be other antennas added, but it’s possible.

The local community is taking on the fight to stop the tower from being built and commissioned for use. They need your help to raise the funds to take legal action to halt the project.

Fight the tower fundraiser

Live music will warm up the hall from 4pm and many speakers will be informing the community about the impacts and problems with EMR at the fundraiser this Saturday 5 October from 4.30pm at Durrumbul Hall in Main Arm.

The community is raising funds to fight the tower and protect Byron’s biosphere – with its alternative lifestyles and perspectives – with the help of local DJs Orthentix, Short Circuit, Spliffin, and Fago “Triple Vision”.

There will be great food for sale so don’t forget to bring your plate, cup and cutlery. There are a huge amount of raffles including one night at Blackbirds bed and breakfast, $50 pizza voucher from Main Arm shop, plenty of hemp products from Hemp Culture and of course the old Main Arm tin raffle.

‘Durr-um-bul is a term originating with the aboriginal community of the Water Rat people of the Brunswick River system,’ said one local organiser. ‘The main arteries that flow into that system are known as the Main Arm, the South Arm, Marshalls Creek and Simpsons Creek that flow into Brunswick River. Kings Creek and Mullumbimby Creek flow into the system at Mullumbimby. This water is the life blood of our Byron Shire.

‘Our people who now inhabit this region rely upon its waters and its beautiful native vegetation that creates our native biosphere to support our lives and health through its interaction with our Mother Earth’s energies and vibrations.’

A spokesperson for Stop 5G Northern Rivers says that, ‘The current EMF exposure standards are 30 years old based on testing using a six foot dummy for six minutes phone time. This does not cover 97 per cent of the population.’

The group are also running the #wearenotsam campaign to raise awareness of the impacts of 5G.


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Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

5 COMMENTS

  1. We are definitely for the NBN tower. The quoted ‘facts’ are mostly not substantiated by science and seemingly put together to scare the population. It is frustrating and sad.

    We need the tower for being able to do our business from home and not having to travel and therefore impacting the environment by using gas for the car or flying to miscellaneous locations.

    • You can have wired internet and have no negative impact on people, plants or animals. I would suggest this would be the best business investment, assuming your business supports human health and the health of all inhabitants in our environment?

  2. Ama Kalma. Who do you work for? NBN? No one else would think it was safe to install this monstrosity next to children, in our precious natural and scenic landscape. Once its there, it’s permanent. For everyone. Oh, sorry, I forgot it was all about you, and your buisness.

    I draw everyones attention to Ray Broomhall, a High Court Barrister-at-Law whose ‘Broomhall Method’ is known for being very successful against 5G and cell towers. He was a speaker at the recent 5G Summit many of you will know aobut. His website is EMR Legal Education, there are documents and videos and good detail.

  3. Fact, Phone towers have no proven harm to anything. I do admire and support people that protest real issues, like GW, starvation in Africa, The Disco dong. I love Durrumbul Hall and believe the tower is not a good look however don’t use scare tack ticks. Protest for the right reasons. I remember when there was a tower planned for north ocean shore and the scare tack ticks where all lie’s, the protest meeting at the school where all so called hippies from everywhere except the north ocean shores.most locals wanted the tower and still do.

  4. The main problem with fixed wireless in regions such as the northern rivers is that, due to our topography and the abundance of trees, many premises will be unable to receive a signal. For those people, the nbn solution once ADSL has been switched off is satellite broadband. Satellite is twice the price for the consumer, with a heavily restricted data cap (no chance of streaming Netflix or gaming or Skyping), plus….it doesn’t work at all in rain….which we have months on end of during the wet season, not to mention floods and life threatening cyclones. We only have access to the copper landlines until 2032: then what?? Similarly, ADSL may be discontinued as early as 2023 (this is currently being negotiated with telstra, the govt, and other telcos.) For the many residents of northern NSW without mobile phone access, this spells catastrophe.

    Neither fixed wireless nor satellite are viable, safe, reliable options for the northern rivers. Our community needs to come together as a matter of urgency and start lobbying for fibre, even if we have to dig the damn trenches ourselves! Other communities are doing it, so there’s no reason why we can’t too.

    If it is any consolation to those who are worried about radiation from the tower, if your property is surrounded by trees, your exposure will be greatly minimised. I myself do not experience any negative effects from radiation of any sort, and neither does anyone I know, however I do sympathise with those who apparently do.

    The best result for us all in the long term will be optical fibre connections, which is obviously what should have been rolled out in the first place, instead of this criminally negligent “fraud band”. This federal government should hang its head in shame.

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