UPDATE – 2.15pm
- Telstra workers have left the site for the day, apparently without having completed the 5G installation.
- At the behest of Byron Greens Councillor Sarah Ndiaye, Federal MP Justine Elliot has agreed to forward an official complaint against Telstra to the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Communications Minister for breaching the mobile phone base station deployment code
- An attempt is being made to get a stop work order against Telstra
- Police are now asking protestors to disperse which they appear to be doing
A group of locals have temporarily halted construction of a 5G installation in Mullumbimby this morning, and are calling for reinforcements to help maintain their action throughout the day.
Telstra workers arrived at the site of the proposed installation behind the Mullumbimby Post Office to begin work at around 8.30am.
This was despite hundreds of local residents and Byron Shire Council opposing the project.
Around a dozen locals blocked access to the site of the installation, refusing to let the workers access the site, which lies less than 50m from the main Mullumbimby bus stop.
Work has temporarily halted at the site of the proposed tower.
‘The community has decided collectively that we don’t want 5G it was put forward that it wouldn’t go ahead,’ one of the protestors, Lorin Ripley said.
‘Now, just a week or so later they’re here going ahead with construction.’
‘It’s not proven to be safe and we don’t want to be living in an unsafe environment. It feels like people are going against our rights and taking actions to control us and create a world that we don’t have a say in and that’s really unfair.’
Byron Shire Council has formally opposed the proposed installation at Mullumbimby on the grounds that Telstra has not provided answers to its questions about the safety of the technology and other potential issues.
However, Telstra does not need Council permission to build the installation.
Under the Federal Telecommunications Act, certain 5G infrastructure can be build without approval from any government authority.
The protestors are calling for other locals concerned about 5G to join them at the Mullumbimby site as soon as possible.
‘The Telstra man who came down said we could ask him any questions we wanted to, and then when we did he said ‘no comment’ to every one of them,’ Ms Ripley said.
‘That’s not answering questions, that’s avoiding them.’