Council concerned over NBN's hasty installation repairs

The City of Ballarat has requested a meeting with NBN Co to raise ongoing concerns about the roll-out of its infrastructure.

It comes as NBN contractors are accused of leaving dangerous pits unsecured in pedestrian footpaths and failing to properly reinstate damaged infrastructure such as footpaths and nature strips.

City infrastructure general manager Eric Braslis said although the council was supportive of the NBN program, it had ongoing concerns with reinstatement works associated with the installation of the NBN network.

A temporary cover over an NBN pit in Peel Street.

A temporary cover over an NBN pit in Peel Street.

“These issues relate to the standard of work done to replace footpaths and nature strips in residential areas across the city following cabling and trench work,” he said.

“Council officers regularly meet with NBN contractors but unfortunately there continues to be concern.

“In light of this, council has invited NBN Co to discuss these issues with council at a meeting in April. “

At Wednesday’s council meeting Mr Brasils also described temporary covers placed on pits by contractors as “totally unacceptable”, after a resident raised them as a safety concern.

Regular council-watcher Gary Fitzgerald said the yellow covers were not always secured after being placed over open pits on footpaths and were an accident waiting to happen.

“These covers are in most cases only held down with a couple of tent pegs, or like the three covers in Main Road outside the office of (Ballarat East MP) Geoff Howard, with no attachment at all.”

One pit, over a driveway on Rodier Street, was covered only by a piece of chipboard, he said.

“I believe this is an urgent situation that must not be overlooked,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Mr Braslis said he was aware of contractors using temporary covers with the intention of returning later to complete them.


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