A planned 40m National Broadband Network tower proposed for Heathcote has attracted some opposition from residents.BARBARA SUNGAILA February 21, 2013 4:23am
For the second time in less than a month, a group of district residents have expressed concerns about a proposed National Broadband Network tower.
This time, residents are worried about a planned 40m tower in Heathcote.
The Travers Lane property was the site of a mediation meeting last Friday between objectors, representatives from the City of Greater Bendigo and representatives from telecommunications and ICT provider Visionstream, which is applying for a permit to build the tower.
It is the second meeting in the district between NBN providers, a council and disgruntled residents, following on from one at Toolleen where a proposed tower on Mt Camel was discussed at the end of January.
The council has received four objections to the Heathcote proposal, all from immediate neighbours.
Objectors were mainly concerned about the appearance of the tower.
‘‘What we came here for is going and we can’t stop it,’’ neighbour Kristen Burton said.
‘‘We bought our block of land as, I suppose, a haven from the world and we’ve lived there for 27 years.’’
‘‘It’ll be an eyesore,’’ neighbour Peter Eichhorn said.
However, Visionstream’s Steven Bishop believed the visual impact would be minimal.
He said the dense tree canopy would shield neighbours from seeing the entire tower.
City of Greater Bendigo town planner Peter O’Brien said it was important to understand the tower was not just a stand-alone facility but part of a broader network and there were several related applications before council.
Visionstream’s Steven Bishop and Greg Aitken explained the function of the tower, its role in the network and the need for clear ‘‘lines of sight’’ between towers.
‘‘Towers are generally about 10km apart,’’ Mr Aitken said.
This tower would link back to another at Tooborac.
Neighbour Dave Burton asked about the site’s selection.
‘‘Nobody here actually knows anything about that process,’’ he said.
Mr Bishop explained that an area was firstly identified by the number of dwellings, then a more detailed topographic search was made to locate the most suitable accessible site for a tower and complex computer modelling was undertaken to make sure that lines of sight were clear.
The need for faster internet was questioned by those at the meeting.
‘‘We’ve got internet now, why do we need faster internet?’’ Mr Eichhorn said.
‘‘We don’t, well I don’t. There’s neighbours here that can download quickly enough. Why do you need any quicker than that?’’
Some objectors were worried about the risks of electromagnetic radiation.
Mr Bishop said the maximum predicted level of electromagnetic radiation at ground level will be less than 0.021 per cent of the maximum allowable.
Site owner Malcolm Tubb said he had been reassured by National Broadband Network willingness to alter the agreement to include a clause about electromagnetic radiation.
‘‘The rental is an attraction, but quite honestly, if there really was any harm and we were able to stop it then I would be grateful about that because I would be the first person to be harmed by it,’’ he said.
Mr Tubb was also unconcerned about the look of the tower.
‘‘We’ve got a great big power pole on the other side of the yard where the best view is and it’s part of technology, like wind power,’’ he said.
City of Greater Bendigo councillor Rod Campbell said these types of propositions were always vexing.
‘‘You set the balance of interests if you like, the challenge of whether we should have better communication or better environment,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s the balances that are very hard to get.’’
A date has yet to set for the matter to go before council.
Emergency services attended a crash on Shepparton-Barmah Rd.
Yarrawonga’s Bre Elliott played the most “consistent golf of her life” over three days to win the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills by carding a 2-under 69 on the final day.
Heather Donaldson was re-elected president of Tatura Hospital Ladies Auxiliary at the annual general meeting on Thursday, which was attended by 33 people.
Detectives from the Sexual Crimes Squad have taken over the investigation into a female jogger who went missing in the One Tree Hill area on Wednesday.
THE 2015 National Blood Donor Week festivities will make the Rochester region Victoria’s new red light district.
Community workshop to consider issues to help form Campaspe digital strategy
Heather Stamp brings a long experience of the Salvation Army to Seymour.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
THEY may be a familiar sight across the Heathcote district, but some of the much-loved birds in the region are in decline.
It was a field of emerald at the Soroptimist International of Cobram Barooga’s annual lunch on Friday, where diners enjoyed the craic at the Irish-themed event.
Deniliquin and district boasted two major winners at the Australian Sheep and Wool Expo at Bendigo from July 17 to 19.
Riverine Plains is set to hold the first in its series of farm walks for the 2015 season as part of its research into stubble retained cropping systems.
The News magazines are online - read the high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.