The NSW Education Department has formally objected to the installation of 5G technology in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate, owing to its close proximity to a childcare centre and preschool.
School Infrastructure NSW – part of the Education Department – has this week sent a letter to Telstra’s private contractor Downer EDI, stating its opposition to the controversial upgrade.
It is understood the letter states the department’s policy of ‘prudent avoidance’ when it comes to installing infrastructure near educational facilities.
This includes its preference for such infrastructure to be located at least 500 metres from the boundary of such a facility.
The proposed 5G upgrade at 8 Acacia Street lies within 500 metres of the Busy Kids childcare centre and Periwinkle Preschool.
A Departmental spokesperson confirmed that the letter of objection had been sent.
Meanwhile, a 546-signature petition opposing the installation has been handed to Council, along with a demand that it ‘get off the fence’ on the issue.
‘100 per cent of the businesses surveyed in the Industrial Estate don’t want a 5G upgrade, nor do the childcare centres and local preschool nearby,’ Tashi Lhamo from Northern Rivers for Safe Technology told last week’s Council meeting.
Councillors are divided over the question of whether or not to oppose 5G, and voted for a compromise on October 8, in which they noted that the 5G installation in Byron ‘complied with current government regulation’, while in the same breath indicating that fibre optic cable is its prefered method of digital communication.
Submissions around the tower upgrade have been extended until October 28, according to Telstra.
These can be sent to [email protected] or by phone: 0437 600 895.