In 2019, I raised the issue of Telstra payphones with massive billboards popping up all over our city without development approval. My motion resulted in Sydney joining the battle in the Federal Court with Melbourne and Brisbane.
Telstra was trying to use its universal service obligation to roll out 300 payphones in the CBD of Sydney wherever it liked and without any planning approval whatsoever.
Telstra claimed the massive installations are a "low impact installation" and didn't need approval. The real reason Telstra was trying to install so many payphones was so it could roll out its massive billboards on the back of them - how many payphones calls do you reckon are made in the Sydney CBD?
In April, Telstra lost its bid to appeal a Federal Court decision preventing it from installing the “next generation” payphones without planning permission in several cities across the country.
A sensible outcome and a win against corporate steamrolling.