News

NBN towers getting too close to homes, residents say

NOT HAPPY: Barry Mail, Dee Seckold and Pamela Hunt McLean Ridges residents unhappy about a NBN tower which will be built close to their houses.
NOT HAPPY: Barry Mail, Dee Seckold and Pamela Hunt McLean Ridges residents unhappy about a NBN tower which will be built close to their houses. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

LOCAL residents believe NBN Co and its subcontractors are exploiting planning legislation "loopholes" allowing them to build towers less than 100 metres from rural homes without seeking council approval.

Now hundreds of them are forming action groups to raise awareness about the issue after being told via mail about towers planned near their homes.

In the Lismore LGA alone, 16 towers are planned - mainly north and north east of Lismore - where rolling out fibre optic cable is too costly due to hilly terrain and wet weather.

Rachel Scott, who lives 170 metres from a planned tower in McLeans Ridges, has researched the planning laws which allow NBN Co and its subcontractors to bypass council approval.

Under 2010 NSW guidelines, mobile carriers are exempt from seeking council approval for towers, but they must be more than 100 metres from homes.

But crucially, those laws don't apply to rurally zoned properties - which is why a McLeans Ridges tower is just 50 metres from Ms Scott's neighbour Pam Hunt.

"I don't think it's fair at all. It's a loophole they've found, and they're trying to cover it up," Ms Scott said.

Another planned tower will sit within 100 metres of the Rosebank hamlet, which has nine homes and a general store.

Rosebank resident Inge Jones lives with her children just 90 metres from the planned site, on the wedge-shaped corner at the junction of Byrne Rd and Repentance Creek Rd.

Ms Jones criticised the "cloak and dagger nature" of the process, and said it was "turning neighbour against neighbour".

"It's a serious issue for us but we feel like we have no say - we're totally locked out of the negotiation process."

NBN Co did not respond to questions about its community consultation policy yesterday.

Topics:  editors picks, national broadband network



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m