The Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, and NBN Co have defended Ballarat’s early entry into the National Broadband Network, after criticism the service should go to communities more in need.
iiNet founder Michael Malone last week said Ballarat should not have been selected as one of the first NBN sites, because it already has access to high-speed broadband services.
Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker also said the NBN was needlessly duplicating high-speed internet services in Ballarat and Geelong while other regional communities would wait up to a decade for improved broadband services.
Ms King yesterday dismissed the comments, saying Ballarat was as entitled as anywhere else.
“The people making these comments are obviously not from Ballarat and region,” Ms King said.
“If they were they would know just how slow the service can be.
“NBN will bring significantly faster broadband and great opportunities for business, education, health and individuals across our region.”
Do you think Ballarat should be one of the first to receive NBN? Have your say
A spokesperson for NBN Co said Ballarat was among the first communities to receive the infrastructure for “logical reasons”.
“The rollout of the NBN follows a series of design principles that aim to deliver a high-speed broadband network in an efficient and cost-effective way, which means some areas come before others for logical reasons,” the spokesperson said.
“These principles include making use of available exchange and transit infrastructure as it becomes available, balancing construction across states and territories and between metropolitan and regional locations.”
TransACT CEO Ivan Slavich told
“While we welcome the NBN and acknowledge the need for affordable, ubiquitous broadband to regional communities, we are unsure why NBN Co has chosen to prioritise and roll out to areas that are already served by superfast networks,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cardigan Village residents opposed to a National Broadband Network tower development at Windermere have taken their fight to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The group’s spokesperson Christine Crawford said about 100 Cardigan Village residents had thrown their support behind the appeal, which has been funded by the community.
“We’ve put in an application to VCAT with the hope we will get a hearing,” Ms Crawford said. “I’m only speaking on behalf of Cardigan Village. I’d say half the people were supporting us.”
An NBN Co spokeswoman said earlier this year that the site had been chosen to maximise high-speed broadband delivery to the area.
Ballarat City Council gave the go-ahead for the tower, at Lot 2 Remembrance Drive near Cardigan Village, at its April meeting.
And the Golden Plains Shire should refuse to grant a permit for an NBN tower at Napoleons because it presents an unacceptable visual impact, the council’s planning committee says.
A planning application for the development of land for a telecommunications facility at 30 Nine Mile Road, Napoleons, is due to be considered by the council at its meeting tonight.
In its recommendation to the council, the planning committee says the proposed development “presents an unacceptable visual impact” on surrounding land.
The committee says the tower would have “adverse amenity impacts on the closest neighbouring dwellings” due to its location.