Glenmore Park resident Mark Simmons has been at war with NBN Co for almost two years, after the installation of an unsightly pillar stripped his home’s value of $50,000.
When Mr Simmons first moved into the home 20 years ago, the small Telstra pillar out the front of his property on the Council-owned nature strip wasn’t much of a bother to him.
However, that all changed in 2018 when the NBN rollout saw this replaced with a crooked eyesore, twice the height and width of the original pillar.
Mr Simmons contacted everyone he could think of, from Penrith Council and NBN Co to Lindsay MP Melissa McIntosh.
After seeking legal advice from Complete Legal & Conveyancing, an independent land valuation was undertaken, revealing the pillar had devalued the property by a whopping $50,000.
Mr Simmons has been fighting hard to have the pillar moved ever since, but NBN Co said it can only be removed at his expense.
“This whole thing was installed with absolutely no consultation to us from Council or NBN,” Mr Simmons said.
“Visionstream installed it on behalf of NBN and the guy said: ‘I feel terrible doing this, I’ve called my boss because this can’t be right but he said it’s not our call’.”
After desperate pleas to the government to help him fight the issue, the Minister for Communication delivered the news through Ms McIntosh that the pillar could be moved at the homeowner’s expense.
Mr Simmons said this was out of the question.
“We live right near The Northern Road, the amount of infrastructure that has been moved so that we can service an airport is unbelievable but they can’t move this?” he said.
“Move it between two houses or a few up to the reserve where it doesn’t affect anybody.”
An NBN spokesperson confirmed Penrith Council was informed of the planned replacement back in May 2018.
“NBN Co charges a fee for investigating whether it is possible to move infrastructure because of the work required to carry out the assessment,” the spokesperson said.
“Any further work such as relocating the infrastructure would also be at the homeowner’s expense.”
Ms McIntosh said she could not comment for privacy reasons.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.