A GOLDEN Plains Shire resident has hit back at a recent NBN tower rejection in Yendon, saying communication in outer regions would be hampered, with employment, education, and safety in the looming fire season all affected.
Plans for a controversial 40-metre monopole high speed internet tower proposed by NBN Co for the Moorabool township was rejected by the shire council on June 6 after more than six months of debate.
The company and locals opposing the tower compromised to move the monopole tower 240 metres west from the closest house.
Residents had objected due to possible radiation risks and the aesthetics of the tower, but at the eleventh hour the landowner hosting the tower declined to have the tower’s original position moved and the tower was subsequently rejected by the council.
Dereel resident Scott Weston said he was surprised at the string of tower rejections in the area, including the Yendon tower and the Golden Plains Shire decision to reject another monopole to deliver wireless services at Napoleans, south of Ballarat, on the grounds it presented an unacceptable visual and amenity impact.
He said a tower in Dereel had been approved by the council but had been taken to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by those in opposition.
He said the NBN tower for many in the community was “a godsend’’.
“It adds so much to our communication options – basically out here we have landlines and that’s it,” Mr Weston said.
“In fire season the issue (of lack of communication) is always at the top of your mind, especially now that CFA have ramped up online communication like Twitter feeds.
“All we have is dial up (internet) and when we do that we lose the phone line.
“It’s not ideal.
“Right now, you can just listen to the radio for updates and as we sadly found out at Kinglake radio is often delayed.’’
Mr Weston said the wireless service would be a bonus for schools and the self-employed, who could utilise real-time video like Skype for training or business calls.
He said he could understand the objectors’ concerns and thought it was important for NBN Co to consult extensively when determining the towers’ locations. But he said he did not agree with fears that radiation levels could cause ill health.