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Current as of 2 August 2015. It's unlikely that this page will be updated again.

Planning and construction timeline

I live in Dereel, Victoria, Australia. Since the end of November 2013, Dereel is connected to the Australian National Broadband Network via a fixed wireless facility. It was installed at least a year late because of the resistance of a few hysterical technophobes. This page describes the history.

I moved to Dereel in July 2007. It was clear to me at the time that both mobile telephony and Internet connections were below the standard you'd expect in a civilized society. I didn't care too much about the mobile phone—I hardly used one any more, and have since given up almost completely. But the Internet connectivity worried me, and it did for over 6 years.

The technical problems are: the telephone exchange is located in Corindhap, too far away for ADSL. So the only options were satellite or mobile phone technologies (UMTS). Satellite is terrible at the best of times, but I had it for three years. The problem with UMTS is that there is no acceptable mobile phone coverage in Dereel: Wendy McClelland (see below) and some nebulous cronies have so far seen to that.

Then in August 2011 I heard that Australia's National Broadband Network was planning to install a fixed wireless tower in Dereel—in fact, they were considering erecting it on my property. And of course Wendy McClelland put in an objection which delayed the project by 15 months. The tower in Enfield went live in September 2012; the Dereel tower went live in December 2013.

Why “Radiation Tower”?

“Radiation Tower” is a silly name, of course. The term in use is “Fixed Wireless Telecommunications Facility”, but in practice it's a “monopole” (tubular tower). The following photos give an idea of what they look like. The first one is in Enfield, during maintenance; normally, of course, there's only the green tower on the left. The second one is in Cape Clear, currently waiting for the Dereel tower to come online before it can be hooked into the network. This photo is by Scott Weston:


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Diary entry for Friday, 8 February 2013 Complete exposure details

  Radiation Tower

But Wendy McClelland uses the term “Radiation Tower” as part of her scare tactics. One way to make a term less scary is to use it without negative implications, so that's what I'm doing. At the same time it makes fun of Wendy's stupid views.

Financial impact

Apart from questions of reliability and speed, the NBN tower also saves a lot of money. Prior to the tower, I paid $80 a month for Internet connectivity, giving me 18 GB of data. With the NBN I could get 20 GB for $40 per month, though I've chosen more volume because I can. Over the 15 months that Wendy delayed the project, that's a difference $600. In addition, the NBN allows me to use VoIP, saving about another $30 per month on the phone bill—a total of $1050. Other Dereel residents are in a similar position. At the council meeting 188 residents spoke in favour of the tower. If their costs are also like mine, this means that Wendy McClelland has incurred damages of nearly $200,000. Is she going to provide compensation?

Wendy McClelland

As mentioned, the biggest problem with Internet connectivity is Wendy McClelland, who at various times has had unnamed supporters. They're a small but vocal minority of people vehemently opposed to almost any form of wireless communications. Initially I put her down as a crackpot, like you find in many places, but over the course of time it became clear to me that she is malicious, as witnessed by a publication slandering me, and either a liar or very stupid, as witnessed by documents submitted to the Golden Plains Shire contradicting her own claims, and her accusations before the Golden Plains Council that they were corrupt. I started writing up documents in August 2007, but this more comprehensive collection dates to December 2011. There's lots of corroborative information in my online diary. Here are some references:

Friday, 17 August 2007

I received a hysterical document in the mail:


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Diary entry for Friday, 17 August 2007

 
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Diary entry for Friday, 17 August 2007

 

I addressed this at the time. The latest, only slightly modified version, is here.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Wendy published another flyer warning of the dangers of the proposed Optus mobile tower:


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Diary entry for Monday, 22 December 2008

 
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Diary entry for Monday, 22 December 2008

 

I don't appear to have bothered to respond to this one.


Tuesday, 27 July 2010 Today's diary Today's images top next last

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Diary entry for Tuesday, 27 July 2010

 

My response


Monday, 21 March 2011 Today's diary Today's images top previous next last

Wendy denounced me in public for being a “proposed site for a microwave radiation tower”:


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Diary entry for Monday, 21 March 2011

 
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Diary entry for Monday, 21 March 2011

 

This page was also put up on her web site http://www.savedereel.com/ (what an arrogant name!) in slightly modified form. She then updated it; as of 1 December 2011 the page looks like this.

Clearly Wendy has only a very limited understanding of the web. In all versions she refers to “The Google Map”, as if there were only one. It was also clear that she had missed my diary entries of December 2010 and January 2011, showing the pain I went through because—thanks to her—I had no reasonable Internet connection, for example here and here. So then I had created a Google Map showing places of interest, including mobile phone towers and also my antenna.

But she didn't understand that, and jumped to the conclusion that the location was a tower to be erected (right on top of the south-west corner of my house, as she could easily have seen). Did she look? Possibly. Did she contact me? No. She just put out an incorrect accusation to everybody in Dereel. Given her own secrecy—she hasn't published her exact address (43 Progress Road, Dereel—what an inappropriately named address!), I think this was a deliberate hate campaign. It backfired: I got three phone calls. Two were from people who were delighted that we would finally get a reasonable mobile phone connection, and very disappointed when they found it was a lie. The third was from Bryan Scott of the NBN, wanting to know if I would be interested in having the NBN tower erected on my property.

So I decided that I hadn't been too clear with marking my map, so I updated it to show what that point was:

This is the location of the antenna I use for my Internet connection, on the roof of my house.

In a recent smear campaign, an anonymous person linked to the web site http://www.savedereel.com/ claimed that a "radiation tower" would be erected here. This is complete fiction.

And yes, Wendy noticed that. Did she accept it? No, she updated her page to read:

The Google map was updated again on 21st March 2011 by 'Groogle'. Greg's tower reference has suddenly dissappeared [sic] off the map after we circulated the notification of the proposed tower site. Greg can obviously have the tower site changed back when he pleases. We wonder why it was taken off so quickly!

Does she believe that? A simple comparison would have shown that I hadn't moved any markers. My best bet is that she doesn't want to have to admit that she's wrong. I spoke to her about it, and she said “I'm not lying”. But she is. If she had any credibility before, she has absolutely none now, and I'm left with the impression that she's not just stupid, but also malicious.


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