TOWER OF TER­ROR

SWITCH­ING ON NBN AKIN TO BOD­ILY AS­SAULT

Sunshine Coast Daily - - FRONT PAGE - AM­BER HOOKER am­[email protected]­news.com.au

A FA­THER liv­ing in fear of an NBN tower near his home has taken the telco gi­ant to court in a bid to stop them from switch­ing it on, with claims the health im­pacts would be so se­vere he would end up home­less.

David Evans says the tower’s emis­sions would ex­ac­er­bate a med­i­cal ail­ment.

A FA­THER liv­ing in fear of an NBN tower near his home has taken the telco gi­ant to court in a bid to stop them from switch­ing it on, with claims the health im­pacts would be so se­vere he would end up home­less.

Bar­ris­ter Ray­mond Broomhall told Ma­roochy­dore Civil Court two doc­tors had di­ag­nosed his client David Evans of Peach­ester with elec­tro­mag­netic hy­per­sen­si­tiv­ity, which would be ex­ac­er­bated by the tower’s emis­sions to the point his home would be “un­in­hab­it­able”. Out­side court, Mr Broomhall said Mr Evans was an elec­tri­cian by trade and for­merly worked with high-volt­age pow­er­lines. Mr Broomhall said though Mr Evans’ work im­pacted his con­di­tion, his Range Rd home was a “sanc­tu­ary” where he could turn off the power to al­le­vi­ate suf­fer­ing. On Thurs­day, Mr Broomhall sought mag­is­trate Max­ine Bald­win to make a peace and good be­hav­iour or­der to ef­fec­tively for­bid NBN Co. from turn­ing on the tower, with claims the health im­pacts would con­sti­tute as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing bod­ily harm on his client. Mr Broomhall said a psy­chi­a­trist had as­sessed Mr Evans, and based on their find­ings he claimed “be­cause NBN are not fol­low­ing med­i­cal ad­vice, it has caused fear and anx­i­ety in my client”. Mr Broomhall sub­mit­ted un­der the “ARPANSA Stan­dard” — which spec­i­fies the lim­its of hu­man ex­po­sure to ra­diofre­quency fields — NBN Co. had an obli­ga­tion to ad­just their prac­tices ac­cord­ingly if they be­come aware they risked harm to health. He sub­mit­ted there was no ev­i­dence they had done so. Mr Broomhall said the only way to al­le­vi­ate his client’s fear and anx­i­ety was to fi­nalise the mat­ter im­me­di­ately, or for Ms Bald­win to make an or­der which for­bid them from switch­ing on the tower while the mat­ter was be­fore the court. NBN Co.’s coun­sel sought a per­ma­nent stay to stop all le­gal pro­ceed­ings and coun­sel sug­gested Mr Broomhall was liv­ing in “fan­tasy land” to sug­gest Ms Bald­win take a course out­side the “usual, or­di­nary” le­gal pro­ce­dure. They said they were fi­nal­is­ing af­fi­davits and would pro­vide the plan­ning ap­proval to pro­vide the court. Ms Bald­win said she would not make any fi­nal or­ders with­out test­ing the ev­i­dence, par­tic­u­larly med­i­cal re­ports to de­ter­mine whether the mat­ter con­sti­tuted an as­sault caus­ing bod­ily in­jury. She set the mat­ter for hear­ing and fur­ther di­rec­tions on Jan­uary 23 next year. Speak­ing out­side of court, Mr Broomhall said his client feared for his own and his chil­dren’s safety. Sun­shine Coast Coun­cil ap­proved the tower last year af­ter ad­vice it did not con­flict with plan­ning bench­marks.

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