THE Mapleton District and Community Association (MADCA) has been left non-plussed by claims that strong community opposition had stymied plans for a digital TV tower for the area.
The community now faces the prospect of poor television reception or none at all when the analogue broadcast service is switched off in May next year.
Without a digital television facility, the Mapleton community may face paying for home satellite dishes to gain reception.
MADCA recently convened a meeting to hear from Regional Broadcasting Australia (RBA) about its proposed digital facility, but learned RBA had scrapped the project just three days before the meeting, based on the perception there was significant community opposition to a tower being erected at the proposed site on the Community Sports Grounds.
Of the 113 people in attendance at the meeting, just four objected to the digital television tower proposals, indicating strong support for the project to go ahead.
"A lot of people felt very disappointed at the meeting," said MADCA secretary Nicolee Lambert.
"We don't know how many complaints about the proposal the RBA got, and what the basis of those objections were."
She said the community will have limited alternatives when analogue broadcast services are switched off next year.
In response to residents' disappointment, Division 10 councillor Greg Rogerson said he was hoping to get in touch with the digital television body and ask some valuable questions.
"About 40-60% of people in the Mapleton community will be affected when analogue is switched off," he said.
"I'll be chasing up RBA, and I will endeavour to the best of my ability to reconvene them to the decision they've made."
Cr Rogerson, who attended the meeting as an independent moderator, said members of the community came wanting to know the answers to their questions but no one was qualified to give answers without the RBA's presence. He said the decision not to go ahead with the tower caused angst among the majority of those in attendance.
Mrs Lambert said she had not yet received any response to her letters and emails, which had asked the RBA to reconsider its decision.
MADCA meets every month to discuss issues and concerns in the community.
The Range News was unable to obtain comment from RBA on the issue.