TOOLLEEN residents are fighting a proposed NBN tower that they say will ruin the town’s main attraction.
NBN Co wants to install a 30-metre high tower for wireless broadband on Mount Camel.
Several residents told the Bendigo Advertiser the tower would be a blight on the town and criticised the way the matter had been handled.
Nick Taylor, who lives near the base of Mount Camel, was one of about a dozen residents who attended a meeting over the issue on Tuesday. “Ninety-nine per cent of Toolleen residents don’t want this... we want as much publicity as we can to stop it,” he said.
“It will affect everything, especially tourism, and I think it’s going to be a very big eyesore.”
Jodie Pfarr said residents were passionate about protecting the town’s “sacred mountain”.
“It seems wrong that for our community to gain the NBN we have to lose a natural and irreplaceable asset,” she said.
“We want to see evidence they have genuinely searched for a better and alternative solution.”
Neil Sloan said it was feared the tower would be leased out for mobile phone use.
“It’s not just a 30-metre tower, it’s going to be built on a concrete structure and have air-conditioners which will involve creating a power line for access,” he said. “There’s also no physical road to the top.”
Shire of Campaspe mayor Ian Maddison said there was no doubt people wanted NBN but he did not want to comment on the tower until he had reviewed all aspects of it.
Senator Conroy said some areas had issues with fixed wireless towers.
“In terms of some of the health claims around towers, not just NBN towers, the science doesn’t support that,” he said. “But sometimes it’s about amenity, (people) don’t want this 30 or 40 foot tower near (their) home, those are all legitimate parts of the community expressing its view.
“There have been some towers where people have (objected) and we’ve moved on.” But the towers needed to have line of sight to homes, he added.
Cr Maddison said the council would vote on a planning permit for the structure in March.