VCAT hearing on Mount Helen wireless tower starts

A VICTORIAN Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing on a contentious proposal to build a fixed wireless tower at Mount Helen is under way. 

NBN Co has pushed ahead with a VCAT hearing after the City of Ballarat in January rejected its application to install a 35-metre tower on Eddy Avenue. The proposal has met with staunch resistance from the community, including 80 objections made to the City of Ballarat. 

Mount Helen resident Natalie Squires, who is leading the campaign against the development, said she raised serious concerns about the “overwhelming visual impacts” of the tower and the effect it would have on vegetation at the nearby koala habitat on Zoe Drive. The tower would also unnecessarily duplicate telecommunication infrastructure in the  Mount Helen and Buninyong region, which had already been designated an NBN fibre network.   

A NBN Co spokeswoman said the purpose of the service was to provide faster broadband to homes and businesses in Mount Helen and Buninyong.

She said if the tower was built it would give residents improved access to services such as e-health, distance education and online entertainment.

A VACT decision on the matter is expected in the coming weeks.

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