NBN: Two sites announced for Buninyong, Mt Helen towers

THE proposed sites of two National Broadband Network towers at Mt Helen and Buninyong have finally been released.

If approved by Ballarat City Council, NBN Co will place a fixed wireless tower at the Greenhill Water Storage Tank site in Bell Avenue and another in Eddy Avenue.

But Buninyong’s Amanda Rossato said many residents were not happy about the towers at all.

“It’s still not how we want our technology delivered,” Ms Rossato said.

Fellow Buninyong resident Chris Cartledge also said he would prefer satellite technology.

“But we just don’t know how it’s going to go,” Mr Cartledge said.

“The consensus from day one is that we’ve never been against the technology but rather the process and dictatorship from Canberra.

“There was no consultation but they’ve learnt their lesson. We’re happy to have towers but we would prefer satellite technology.”

Mr Cartledge said it would be up to Mt Helen and Buninyong residents if they wanted to protest the applications.

“But there are a lot of people passionate about the environment.”

The new applications follow the scuttling of a previous Crown Castle proposal for a Davies Road telecommunications tower in March.

At the time, NBN Co said it didn’t have an application for a Buninyong tower. However, it was a customer of Crown Castle.

Buninyong residents fought the proposed 40-metre-high monopole, which was knocked back by Ballarat City Council at its March 14 meeting due to its height, location, design and appearance.

Pottery shards found near the tower site were also found to date back to the 1850s and native vegetation removal could affect the area’s biodiversity and koala habitat.

A Crown Castle appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has since been withdrawn.

A community information session to discuss the two new towers was held at the Buninyong Town Hall on November 7.

The NBN roll-out is continuing in Ballarat, with Ballarat East and Eureka announced as the next suburbs to receive the fixed wireless network.

fiona.henderson@thecourier.com.au

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