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NBN Red-Faced After Vic Rejection

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Moorabool Shire, located north west of Melbourne, has rejected NBN Co’s application for a 40m tower to transmit fixed wireless services following objections from the local community.

The tower was located just 90 meters from a resident’s home, reports The Australian.

But the rejection by the Shire’s officials even came as a surprise to objecting locals, who were sure the tower would go ahead as planned.

14 Areas of Moorabool including Bacchus Marsh were chosen as ‘second release’ NBN site for the rollout of fixed wireless services and a recent Moorabool Council newsletter spoke of the impending NBN services in glowing terms.

However, this wasn’t enough to sway locals with the application for the tower located in Yendon, on the outskirts of Ballarat, being rejected on the grounds of negative visual impact on the area.

This is just one of a number of Councils across the country and the third in Victoria alone who have rejected NBN Co’s planning applications for towers as it begins to rollout its $36bn fibre broadband project.

Just three weeks ago, Golden Plains Shire also located near Ballarat, Vic, rejected a similar 40m tower after it failed to meet codes pertaining to amenity impacts on neighbours and community, as did Ballarat council.

Update: An NBN Co spokesperson told SmartHouse it was “disappointed Council rejected the Yendon fixed wireless development application, especially given staff recommended it should be approved.”

“We are currently assessing our options in order to deliver high speed broadband to the Yendon community.”

However the Council’s decision to reject the application may mean families and businesses will experience a delay in receiving the NBN, the NBN Co spokesperson warned.

“They probably need to work a little bit harder on where they site these towers,” said Moorabool Mayor Pat Griffin .

“It’s quite new to them, they’re learning as they go along.”

The NBN Co declined to say what its next move was but it is likely the tower application will be altered and resubmitted to the local authority.