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Australian Telcos Criticise Tighter Planning Laws for Base Stations

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Proposals for tighter planning controls for base stations in Australia have been criticised by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA).

The AMTA says that the "Wilkie Bill" on mobile base station deployment is unwieldy and would result in long delays in rolling out infrastructure catering for rapidly increasing consumer demand for mobile broadband and result in reduced services for mobile phone users.

AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the Bill of Tasmanian Independent, Andrew Wilkie, to alter low-impact exemptions and introduce buffer zones would undermine efficient deployment of base stations and place unworkable burdens on local councils' approval processes.

"Mr Wilkie's Bill has disregarded the community consultation process on a revised deployment code, which has community representation, to help ensure that communities are properly consulted on the placement of base stations in their local areas," he said.

"The process for a new Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code with community representation is well advanced and it is counterproductive for Mr Wilkie to have ignored this transparent process with his political intervention, which risks poor outcomes that are in no-one's interest, let alone the community's."

Mr Althaus said Mr Wilkie's call to transform the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination, which allows industry to roll-out critical infrastructure in a timely and efficient manner, would result in local governments potentially being flooded with development applications for minor works and blocking the deployment process.

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Tags: amta  base station  Australia