A site earmarked by Telstra for a 40-metre high mobile phone tower has been rejected by Greater Hume Shire.
The telco has government blackspot funding to erect the monopole near its exchange at Burrumbuttock, a village with some of the worst mobile phone coverage in the southern Riverina.
However, the exchange is at the rear of the Burrumbuttock Public Hall and shire chief executive Steve Pinnuck said it would be preferable not to use that land.
“That area behind the hall is used as an approved camping site,” Mr Pinnuck said.
“We would be concerned the installation of that sort of facility would impact on that.
“It doesn’t get a lot of people that camp there but there’s enough that support the store that it’s worthwhile.”
The council resolved at its meeting last month to inform Telstra contractor Visionstream that the hall land was unsuitable but recommend sites near the village’s fire shed and effluent ponds.
Mr Pinnuck said the fire shed was seen by the council as the best of the two sites.
He rejected the possibility of the shire having to pay for extra costs if the tower does not get built at Telstra’s favoured site.
A public meeting, involving Telstra representatives has been set down for the hall at 7.30pm on September 19.
The head of community group, the Burrumbuttock Forum, Keiran Keenan said his organisation did not have a preferred tower site.
He said the problem just needed to be resolved with the village’s Wirraminna Environmental Centre hampered by it and football administrators forced to use a landline to relay scores.
“We’re quite open to wherever it goes,” Mr Keenan said.
“We want the tower, we want the town brought up to speed, because it’s holding things back.
“The current coverage is bloody woeful, it really is terrible.
“If you look at Burrumbuttock, it’s in a bowl so signals go over the top.”
Shire mayor Heather Wilton said the tower needed to be located where it served most people and she downplayed aesthetic concerns.