On a related matter, at the ordinary meeting of council on the 20th of May, the Chittering Shire council debated the planning proposal for the NBN tower on Bell Hill Reserve in Bindoon. While the planning officer's recommendation was to approve the application, Council decided to split proposal in two motions. The first motion was for the Shire to gain rezoning of that area for telecommunications purposes from the department of Land Administration. If successful, NBN would then need to enter into a lease agreement with the Shire. The second motion included a number of environmental conditions as well as the co-location of the DFES pager service on the tower (which will improve coverage for emergency service pagers). The first motion was defeated with 2 councillors supporting the motion and 5 rejecting it. This meant the planning approval for the NBN tower was rejected. The second motion was no longer relevant but was also defeated 2 to 5. It is not clear what the next step is for the NBN progress. Alternative sites may need to be reviewed or NBN may attempt to take the planning request to a higher authority. Either way the deployment of NBN in the region is going to be delayed. The Bindoon tower is required in order for the NBN network to link between Gingin and Lower Chittering and so a delay to the tower in Bindoon delays the deployment throughout the region. For a full reading of the details (all 44 pages of it!) you can download the minutes from the shire website at chittering.wa.gov.au.
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