Our greatest impact on biodiversity and land is during the installation and maintenance of network facilities (such as fibre-optic cables, pits, manholes, mobile base stations, and radio and satellite dishes). To minimise environmental impact during these operations, our Land and Environment (L&E) and Mobile Deployment & Support Services (MDSS) teams assess each site before work progresses.
Prior to the commencement of our operations, the L&E and MDSS teams ensure that the installation of these network facilities comply with the Telecommunications Act 1997, the Telecommunications Code of Practice 1997 and the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 1997. These acts ensure Optus carries out a number of actions during network deployment and operations, which include:
- Doing as little damage to fauna habitat and vegetation as possible
- Giving notice to certain interested parties such as owners and occupiers
- Drawing agreements that may be entered into between parties
- Implementing best practice techniques
- Noise management
- Compliance with relevant industry standards and codes
- Implementing procedures for dealing with objections
- Assessment of visual impact.
If an area is determined as an ‘area of environmental significance’ under federal or state legislation and the installation cannot be avoided, Optus will undertake detailed environmental assessments and obtain the relevant planning consents or permits prior to installation. This allows for installation and maintenance work to be undertaken in a way that minimises disturbance.