Decision on Optus tower due

CLARENCE Valley councillors will tonight decide whether to allow a potentially risky telecommunications facility to be built at Reilleys Lane in Glenugie.

Optus has applied to build a 40m high tower that would penetrate the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) of the Grafton Aerodrome.

Obstacle Limitation Surfaces establish limits on how far objects can project into the airspace surrounding an aerodrome.

They are put in place to ensure aircraft operations can be conducted safely.

Council documents show the Grafton Airport operations manager does not support the proposed penetration of the OLS because the proposal would introduce a risk to aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is also against penetrating an OLS.

“CASA does not recommend or support OLS penetrations. Keeping the structure to a height below the OLS will be the only real measure to mitigate the hazard,” it said.

Optus has asked the council to note that it (Optus) interprets CASA's comments as being general advice only.

At last week's environment, economic and community committee meeting, councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application on safety grounds.

The full meeting of the council will make the final decision tonight.

Also on the agenda tonight is the management of Yamba, Ulmarra, Grafton and South Grafton pools.

There was community outrage when residents found out the council was considering awarding management tenders to a Queensland company, Lane 4 Pty Ltd.

The Grafton Chamber gallery was full last Tuesday night when members of the council's civil and corporate committee debated the issue.

Eventually the committee voted to have the contract for the Yamba centre awarded to the alternative tender – RYDJ Pty Ltd – which is also the current operator.

As well, the committee voted not to accept any tender for Grafton, South Grafton and Ulmarra pools on the grounds that all exceeded the budgeted amount allowed for by the council.

It also recommended the council not call for fresh tenders for Grafton, South Grafton and Ulmarra pools, but instead enter into negotiations with any of the three tenderers who may be interested in doing so.

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