17 Jul. 2017 - Buxton Launches Fight over NBN Tower

Little Buxton launches big fight over nbn tower plan

Eric Kontos on Monday, 17 July, 2017 in News

 Last week's residents' meeting in Buxton.

Opposed to nbn tower plan: Last week’s residents’ meeting in Buxton.


The Wollondilly Shire village of Buxton is up in arms over nbn plans to build a 45 metre fixed wireless tower.

Residents are concerned about health and aesthetic issues and also that the tower does not solve the village’s internet problems.

At a public meeting last Thursday, Buxton residents blasted nbn for lack of consultation and vowed to even consider class action if the tower goes ahead.

They formed Friends of Buxton Action Group to lead the fight against the nbn proposal for the tower in a property on the corner of Arden Road and Buxton Avenue.

“This is an ill-conceived, poorly thought-through and inappropriate solution to the internet problems which have plagued our community for so long,’’ say the residents.

“We intend to vigorously defend our community.’’

They have also launched an online petition calling for the tower to be stopped.

For its part, nbn says that the consultation program at Buxton has been “transparent, accessible to the community, and significantly in excess of the requirements of NSW planning legislation’’.

But residents say it’s an outrage that nbn sent out only 130 letters informing Buxton residents about the tower plan, when there’s more than 700 properties in the village.

“Why didn’t the other 600 properties get a letter to let them know this tower was coming,’’ one resident said.

“nbn proposes to install a 45-metre monopole, accommodating two (2) panel antennas (0.75m long) and one (1) parabolic dish antennas (0.9m in diameter). Associated radio equipment is proposed to be housed in small cabinets adjacent to the monopole,’’ nbn said in its letter to residents.

“This proposed communications facility is classified as a “Complying Development” under State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007. Under these provisions, the proposal does not require planning approval from Wollondilly Shire Council, however nbn has written separately to the Council seeking comment. nbn is pleased to invite you to a Community Information Session regarding the proposed facility. This is an opportunity to find out more about the proposal and to ask any questions,’’ the letter said.

When nbn said it also published a public notice in a local newspaper, residents responded that this paper did not circulate in Buxton.

Friends of Buxton wrote to the nbn seeking an extension of time for submissions and the letter was copied to the Communications minister, local politicians and Wollondilly Council.

“The proposed tower not only affects and impacts those in the area it proposes to service, but everyone who lives within at least approx. 2-3km radius of the proposed tower that is, all Buxton residents,’’ wrote the residents.

“We have asked Mr Patrick Duffy of Duffy Law Group to attend our next meeting and advise us in a professional capacity, who has kindly agreed to support our community, on a pro-bono basis at this stage.’’

Mr Duffy told the SW Voice this afternoon: “I was pleased to chair the meeting and act as facilitator for this determined local community.’’

Submissions on the proposal close at 5pm tomorrow, Tuesday, July 18.

Lawyer Patrick Duffy chairing the residents' meeting at Buxton last Thursday.

Pleased to lend a hand: Lawyer Patrick Duffy chairing the residents’ meeting at Buxton last Thursday.



About Eric Kontos

Almost 40 years experience in the print media, most of them as editor of local newspapers across the Sydney metro area, but a few years working as a sub-editor with the metros. Lots of awards, both as a reporter and editor, but says he values just as much Community Service Awards from Campbelltown City Council in 2004 and 2016. Took a voluntary redundancy in 2014 from Fairfax Community Newspapers after 21 years there. Loves the digital world, because ''there's no question it's the future''. Eric promises his hard hitting but fair approach won't change when he reports the news via cyber space.

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