Moyne mayor opposes NBN

MOYNE Shire mayor Jim Doukas has voiced his opposition to the national broadband network after voting against approvals for the rollout of wireless towers across the shire. 

Council this week approved six national broadband network (NBN) fixed wireless towers for Mortlake, Woolsthorpe, Hawkes-dale, Winslow, Panmure and Macarthur. 

But Mailors Flat has been left off the list until next year because of community opposition. 

Residents raised objections over the 40-metre tower in July this year, concerned that the structure would dwarf nearby homes and trees on Ibbs Lane and lower property values.

Developer Vision-stream, representing NBN Co, is considering if the tower height can be lowered by five metres and moved over 100 metres back from Ibbs Lane. 

During the hour-long debate on Tuesday evening Cr Doukas questioned whether the national broadband network would still be effective when it was eventually rolled out. 

“Surely we should be getting the most for our communities,” Cr Doukas said. 

Cr Doukas, a Mailors Flat resident, and Cr Anthony Keane opposed all seven towers planned for the shire.

Asked by The Standard yesterday why he had opposed the towers, Cr Doukas said council had not been provided with enough information.

“In five years they may be obsolete,” he said. 

“It’s no different to what we’ve got.” 

During the meeting councillors also heard from Visionstream town planner Greg Aitken.

Asked why the region couldn’t be supported by satellite internet, Mr Aitken said the towers provided 12 megabytes per second compared to satellite, which provided only six. 

Mailors Flat resident David Smith said the tower should be scrapped altogether and shook his head during the speech delivered by Mr Aitken.

He said residents had not been given enough time to respond to the application and asked councillors to hold off on a decision until their February meeting, when more information on Ibbs Lane could be provided. 

However, a spokeswoman for NBN Co told The Standard the Mailors Flat tower would act as a “hub site” and the overall network would potentially be affected if it was left out. 

Divisions remained on the other six towers, which were still opposed by Cr Keane and Cr Doukas. 

Other members spoke in support of the technology.

“The establishment of this tower will benefit the community around Winslow,” Cr Colin Ryan said. 

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