A 40m NBN tower will be built in Wooroloo after Shire of Mundaring councillors voted 7-4 to approve a planning application for the telecommunications infrastructure on Harper Road.
The application is part of the NBN’s national rollout to facilitate its fixed wireless technology to provide a network of internet connection to the region.
The applicant said fibre optic cabling was not a viable option through most of the rural residential areas of the Shire due to the rocky conditions making it cost prohibitive.
The planning application is one of five lodged within the Shire in December 2016 in Parkerville, Chidlow, Stoneville and Wooroloo.
On May 9, the Stoneville and Parkerville applications were granted conditional approval by council.
Councillor Stephen Fox said the Wooroloo application was put out for public comment and attracted one objection and one non-objection.
“I am very aware in the past there has been objections to this type of developments, however this location is fairly remote,” he said.
“I would suggest the community at large are supportive of an improvement in internet infrastructure.”
Cr Trish Cook voted against approving the development.
“Underground trenches, no matter how expensive they will be, will be safer and better particularly in a bushfire prone area,” she said.
“But primarily this application does not meet our Local Planning Scheme guidelines.”
However, in its submission Department for Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said such infrastructure was critical in times of bushfire emergency.
The Shire’s chief bushfire control officer Mark Casotti echoed the sentiments of DFES.
“This tower will improve the overall reliability of the system as expected by the community, particularly in providing confidence in an internet service which will allow the community to monitor public information such as the Emergency WA website, DFES and the Shire of Mundaring,” he said.
“There is also a larger dependence on internet data by emergency services to ensure continuity of access to the various systems required to assist with the management of emergencies and personnel safety.”