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NBN Co notches up another win in Tasmania

The tower at Garden Island Creek will provide NBN fixed wireless coverage to Garden Island Creek and serve as an ‘anchor point’ for other NBN wireless access in the wider Hobart area

NBN Co has notched up another win for its fixed wireless towers in Tasmania, with a development application for a tower in Huon Valley given the go-ahead following an appeal.

Resident Jody Watkins was appealing the construction of a fixed wireless tower in the Huon Valley area in Tasmania on the grounds that inadequate notice was given to residents for the development application.

However, the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT) found Watkins did not have a right to appeal as she did not lodge her appeal within the specified timeframe.

Watkins wrote several letters to the Huon Valley council about the tower's construction. However, the first letter was received 24 September, 2012, which was six days after the allowable period for "representation" (representation must be made within 14 days prior to a permit being granted).

Under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (No. 70 of 1993), representation includes "a written statement of facts or reasons in support of or in opposition to the scheme, amendment, application or project".

Another two letters were received by the council 7 October and 15 October.

Failing to lodge an appeal within the specified period meant Watkins had “failed to make a valid representation” around the case.

“Finally, it is quite irrelevant how the document was described by the Applicant for the permit. The circumstances then are as a matter of fact no representation was made by Ms Watkins. She has no right of appeal under Section 61(5) of the Land Use Act. Her appeal is invalid and it is dismissed,” the RMPAT said.

The tower at Garden Island Creek will provide NBN fixed wireless coverage to Garden Island Creek and serve as an ‘anchor point’ for other NBN wireless facilities in the wider Hobart area.

The RMPAT had earlier issued five directions for the case to try and resolve the issue, with Huon Valley Council required to submit an evidentiary form which showed its decision making process in approving the tower.

The win at Garden Island Creek comes on the back of another NBN Co win at Scottsdale, Tasmania, in November last year, with NBN Co receiving planning approval for a fixed wireless tower following the initial rejection of the tower by Dorset Council.

An agreement was reached between NBN Co and Dorset Council over the construction of the facility, with a decision handed down by the RMPAT giving the go-ahead for the facility, comprising a 35m monopole, antennas, an outdoor cabinet (with another to be built in the future) and ancillary equipment.

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