THE organisation charged with providing broadband internet service to Australia, NBN Co is proposing to build two telecommunication towers in the Narooma area.
A 35-metre “monopole” tower is being proposed to be built off Wonga Road, Narooma, while another tower is also proposed for Tilba on the Punkalla-Tilba Road.
Residents in both locations have already expressed concerns about the location and the towers’ impact on the landscape.
There will be an information session at the Narooma Golf Club this Tuesday, August 19 from 3pm to 6pm where residents can provide feedback on the Wonga Road site.
There were will be another public meeting at the Small Hall at Central Tilba on Wednesday, August 27 to dicuss the tower in the Tilba area.
A NBN Co spokesperson said while the Wonga Road location was locked in, no final decision had been made on the Tilba location and any ideas for better locations would be listened to.
The spokesperson confirmed the information listed in a public notice in this week’s Narooma News that as the Wonga Road site was classified as complying development, it did not require approval from Eurobodalla Shire Council.
The height of the towers was determined by the topography or lay-out of the land, as the internet signal required line-of-sight to the user.
The towers would be topped with three panel antennas and a single parabolic dish.
Very patchy mobile coverage is also an issue, particularly in the Tilba area with Telstra at one point investigating and then abandoning plans for its own telecommunication tower at Brushgrove Lane due to residents’ opposition.
NBN Co says there was scope for mobile phone telecommunication companies to co-locate their own equipment on the internet towers, thereby also improving mobile service.
Coincidentally another mobile phone panel antenna was being installed on the Narooma water tower on Thursday, but by which telecommunication company was unclear at this time.
Tilba residents oppose tower
Central Tilba residents are planning to present a petition to Eurobodalla Shire Council regarding proposed NBN Co wireless mono-pole at “The Old Abattoir” at 94 Punkalla-Tilba Road.
While council approval was not required for the Wonga Road site, whether council has any say over the Tilba site depends on its exact location and whether it fell in the heritage area.
The NBN Co spokesperson told the Narooma News that the 94 Punkulla-Tilba Road was just one of several locations being considered.
Tilba residents say they are opposed to that location for the 40-metre or 10-storey high wireless internet mono-pole and associated infrastructure on a prominent hilltop within the Tilba Landscape Conservation Area, which abuts the Gulaga Mountain National Park.
They say the site is highly visible from many of the district's vantage points including major areas of the Central Tilba town site, from where it forms a critical part of the northern horizon.
“Neighbours opposing this proposal have a petition of over 400 signatures and support from many areas of the local community,” Tilba resident Lyndall Magnusseson wrote in a letter to the editor this week.
“I am not averse to better technology for this area but feel a more appropriate site needs to be found that does not impact on this beautiful and significant heritage area.”
The petition reads: “As a community we are not averse to the provision of NBN Co services, however we believe that any proposal should carefully and sensitively consider the long-standing conservation and heritage values of our beautiful environment to fully preserve its amenity to locals and visitors alike. This proposal so obviously fails to do this.”
The Narooma News was also contacted by a resident living next to the proposed Wonga Road tower off the Old Highway south of Narooma, who said she was concerned about the potential impacts of radiation, the aesthetic impact and also any clearing of bush to make way for the infrastructure.