Protestors at the site of the new 50m Telstra Tower at Lillian Rocks.
Protestors at the site of the new 50m Telstra Tower at Lillian Rocks. Marc Stapelberg

Mayor denies Telstra paid for tower land

CONCERNS surrounding the Lillian Rock Telstra tower dominated Tuesday night's Kyogle Council meeting.

The controversial mobile phone tower made The Northern Star headlines last week when workers entered a fenced off work area during a protest at the site, and locked the gate behind them.

The workers became temporarily 'trapped' after a protester jammed something in the lock. Residents remain concerned about the invasiveness of the tower, its visual impact and health risks of the tower's emissions and are continuing to protest against it.

Lillian Rock resident Emma Toner asked the Kyogle councillors some pertinent questions about the tower.

"We understand that council had been given priority funding under the federal mobile black spot (round one) program, can you please clarify what in-kind support is in relation to the Lillian Rock tower?," she said.

General Manager Graham Kennett said there wasn't any in-kind support from council and that none had been requested.

Ms Toner further asked the council what financial funding they had received from Telstra in relation to the tower.

Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland said they had not received any funding.

"I'm sorry, that was just a rumour," Cr Mulholland said.

A lengthy discussion was held about The Northern Rivers Organisation of Councils transitioning to the new Joint Organisation on June 22.

Cr Mulholland announced the new NRJO would launch its 10 regional priorities following its first meeting next week.

In other discussions, Councillor Maggie May asked council to clarify a letter sent to them from the Environmental Defenders Office on behalf of the Northern Rivers Guardians. She said the letter was seeking some further advice on the legality of council approving the Border Rangers Rally without a DA being required.

"I believe council has received that letter," Cr May said.

"Why has that letter not been distributed to councillors?

"Can that letter be distributed to councillors?

"And can a full report be provided to councillors, on the response that you intend to give to the Environmental Defenders Office, on behalf of the residents who have raised concerns about the legality of the approval process that was undertaken for the Border Ranges rally?"

Mr Kennett said he would provide a copy of the letter and response to the letter to councillors.

General Manger Graham Kennett presented the monthly financial report for May which revealed that as of May 31, Kyogle residents were in arrears of $191,495.95 in rates payments, services and interest and had an outstanding balance of $1,354,633.98 from net charges (2017-18) of $10,413,357.10.

The financial report was not discussed among councillors and the recommendations were carried.

Confidential Business papers were discussed behind closed doors for approximately 30 minutes: Including: Annual tenders (18.1), RFT-10014831 Consultancy Services to provide Concept and Detail designs for Kyogle Aquatic Centre Upgrade (18.2) and Tender 2017/18-011 supply of Quarry products (18.3).