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Goornong broadband towers flagged in planning application

Goornong is one of 11 towns in the City of Greater Bendigo flagged in a telecommunication company's plan to build fixed wireless broadband service towers.

ELAINE COONEY December 4, 2012 4:40am

Goornong residents may soon have access to a fixed wireless broadband service.

It is one of 11 towns in the City of Greater Bendigo where Ericsson Australia Proprietry Limited is seeking planning permission to build telecommunication towers.

Greater Bendigo director of planning and development Prue Mansfield said if approved, the towers would provide fixed wireless broadband for residents and businesses in Axedale, Eppalock, Goornong, Heathcote, Lockwood South, Longlea, Mount Camel, Sedgwick and parts of Strathfieldsaye.

Ms Mansfield said residents and business owners had until December 13 to comment on the applications.

‘‘The applications are for areas where the population density does not allow for cabling,’’ she said.

‘‘The applications to build these towers represent the first stage of the delivery of the National Broadband Network to Greater Bendigo.

‘‘We expect to receive seven or eight more applications in the coming the months.’’

Goornong postmistress Cheryl O’Brien said she was happy with the move as it would attract young people to the rural town.

Mrs O’Brien said she had seen an influx in young families settle in the town for the past 12 months due to the expansion of Bendigo.

She said she did not feel there would be any objections to the building of the towers in the town unless it interfered with the land.

Mrs O’Brien said the current broadband in Goornong was weak and many people still used dial up.

She said she sometimes had to use a smartphone if she needed to send an urgent email and the service was slow.

‘‘There are a lot of problems with internet connection here,’’ she said.

‘‘It can make people feel really isolated.’’

NBN Co’s fixed wireless aims to deliver speeds of up to 12Mbps, with plans for higher speeds to become available in the future.

All applications can be viewed at 15 Hopetoun St, Bendigo and the three in the Heathcote area can be viewed at the Heathcote Service Centre at 125 High St, Heathcote during office hours from 8.30am to 5pm.

Submissions can be made in writing to the Planning Unit, c/- City of Greater Bendigo, 15 Hopetoun St, Bendigo VIC 3550 or via email at planningenquiries@bendigo.vic.gov.au.

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