BATHURST Regional Council says it is powerless to remove an NBN switchboard installed now partly blocking a footpath on Church Street in the Bathurst CBD.
A reader contacted the Western Advocate saying the new switchboard, installed outside the Lo's Rose Garden Chinese Restaurant, was a hazard to pedestrians and calling for it to be relocated.
"It is amazing that an electrical contrivance has been placed in the middle of a busy footpath on Church Street in Bathurst's CBD," Bathurst man Bill Kierath said.
"Footpaths are for pedestrians, not for plonking stuff onto because there is space. To say it is a hazard to users of the footpath is an understatement.
"It should never have been put there but, now that it has, it must be removed."
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But council's director of engineering services, Darren Sturgiss, said the switchboard was a piece of NBN infrastructure and NBN was not required to seek council approval for its installation.
"Council was not involved in any assessment of where the switchboard was placed," Mr Sturgiss said.
"... Council has no jurisdiction on where the switchboards are placed."
Mr Sturgiss has previously expressed his frustration over the quality and timing of work carried out by NBN contractors in the Bathurst CBD.
Mr Sturgiss told the Western Advocate last year that council had written to NBN on at least two occasions to complain about the quality of footpath restorations carried out by contractors who had been laying NBN cabling in the CBD.
"The Telecommunications Act allows for a communication authority, in this case NBN, to come in and carry out work without any approvals required from council," Mr Sturgiss said at the time.
"They just need to notify council of their intention to carry out work and the type of work and council generally doesn't hear anything further from them until they start the job."
Mr Sturgiss also raised concerns over behaviour of some contractors who had carried out noisy jobs in the dead of night.
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