The Cells State Conservation Area Review of Environmental Factors for radio facility: public consultation

A Review of Environmental Factors for proposed improvements to critical communications infrastructure at Tobin Trig station is open for public consultation until 30 January 2021.

Public exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) provides an important opportunity for members of the community to have a say in relation to this activity proposed by the NSW Telco Authority (NSWTA).

NSWTA has submitted a REF to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (NPWS, the Department) for a proposed new radio facility at Tobin Trig in The Cells State Conservation Area. This proposal is at a location that has not previously had a radio facility. The proposed facility will involve the installation of a 35-metre lattice tower, equipment shelter and solar arrays, and the re-opening of a long-dormant trail to the site and Tobin Trig station. The proposed area was previously cleared for a fire tower that is decommissioned.

This installation is part of the Public Safety Network (PSN) that is being enhanced by NSWTA via the Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP). The CCEP will expand the PSN’s land coverage from less than 35% to 85% of New South Wales to achieve 98% population coverage. The expansion aims to ensure that emergency service organisations have an enhanced and more reliable network. It is likely that NPWS will migrate to the enhanced PSN and will utilise the facility in the management of NPWS parks and reserves.

What is a Review of Environmental Factors?

A REF is used to document the environmental impact assessment of proposed activities on lands managed by NPWS. It examines the significance of likely environmental impacts of the proposal and measures required to avoid, minimise and mitigate adverse impacts to the environment.

NSW Telco Authority is the proponent and NPWS is the determining authority for this activity under Part 5 (Division 5.1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The REF will assist the determining authority to decide whether an activity should be approved and assists in the development of appropriate conditions should approval be given. 

What opportunities will the community have to comment?

The Review of Environmental Factors is on public exhibition until 29 January 2021 and anyone can review this document and provide comments.

What happens next?

At the end of the public exhibition period in January 2021, NPWS will review all submissions, prepare a submissions report and, if necessary, request further information from the proponent.

NPWS will determine the REF, based on its review of the documents and the information provided in submissions. If the determination recommends that the activity may proceed (pending the approval of the proposed Cottan-Bimbang Plan of Management), approval will be issued under s.153D of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. If approved, the project is expected to take approximately 4 to 5 weeks to complete. 

How can I get more information about the proposal?

To find out more about the proposal contact the NPWS Senior Project Officer, Utilities, on 02 6450 5641. 

For further information on CCEP, visit the NSW Telco Authortiy website or call on 1800 794 862.

Where can I see a printed copy of the Review of Environmental Factors?

Hard copies are available for viewing at:

  • NPWS office at 22 Blackbutt Road, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444
  • NPWS office at 174W North Street, Walcha, NSW, 2354

Copies of the document can be requested from NPWS by phone on 02 6450 5641 or post at PO Box 2228, Jindabyne, NSW 2627 (Attention Senior Project Officer, Utilities).

How can I comment on the Review of Environmental Factors?

Public exhibition of the REF is until 29 January 2021. You are invited to comment on the REF before this date.

While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for park management. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.
  • Note which part or section of the REF or attachments your comments relate to.
  • Give reasoning in support of your points - makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and helps avoid misinterpretation.
  • Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why.

Your comments will be used to assess the likelihood of the proposed activity causing a significant impact.

Your privacy

Your comments on the REF may include 'personal information'. The Department complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see our privacy page. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.

The content of individual submissions may be shown to the proponent in cases where it may assist in determining the REF. A summary of issues raised in public submissions may be made publicly available during and after a determination has been made. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential, you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.

If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.

Have your say

Public exhibition is from 15 December 2020 to 29 January 2021.

You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

  • Post your written submission to: 
    Senior Project Officer, Utilities
    National Parks and Wildlife Service 
    PO Box 2228 
    Jindabyne NSW 2627
  • Email your submission to NPWS.Utilities@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • Make a submission online by using the online form below.

The Cells State Conservation Area Review of Environmental Factors 

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