Noosa's NBN update hits a bump in the road
AUSTRALIA'S NBN fast broadband roll out - estimated to cost as much as $73 billion - has hit a speed bump out Pinbarren way, in the form of a council keen to "dig its heels in" and take the communications juggernaut to task.
Noosa Council has voted to defer an application for NBN co-contractor Aurecon to build a 31m tower at Grahams Rd for one month, while council staff investigates three other alternative sites already dismissed by Aurecon.
Mayor Noel Playford supported the enforced delay moved by councillor Sandy Bolton, because the applicant had failed to tell council who in the Noosa Hinterland would receive the service.
Council planning manager Kerri Coyle said the company had informed her that the other sites were not suitable.
But Cr Playford was suspicious that Aurecon had not met the further information request, although Ms Coyle indicated the company had insufficient time and was reluctant to provide that information in case they tower signal did not reach some of those houses.
"For them just to refuse to give information which is pertinent to the application, the red flags go up, and I think 'what are they trying to hide?'" the mayor said.
"They mightn't be trying to hide anything, but I think it's insulting to us and it's insulting the community we represent, and I don't think I can do my job properly if that's the attitude an applicant's going to take."
Cr Playford said Aurecon could have said "we are willing to give you information in confidence but we don't want it to go public".
But he said this is not the last time "this thing could happen" and it was "time for council to dig its heels in".
"They might get the message," Cr Playford said.
Cr Bolton was intent on trying to get the best outcome for local residents.
"These sites may actually have less impact than the proposed site - the proposed site not only impacts the residents of Grahams Rd and a 30-year-old business but also the natural landscape of Mt Cooroora," Cr Bolton said.