Thursday, June 25, 2009

telstra tower trouble

report from the roundtable - 23 June

At the council meeting this week, Mr Frank Smith, President of MEEPPA, submitted to council about the installation of a Telstra Mobile tower at Pembroke Secondary College.

No one in the community has been consulted about the installation, with Telstra believing that the installation is low impact and exempt from permit permission as it is a replacement of a tower and/or co-location of services. However that is not strictly correct even though Telstra are still complying within the
Code of Practice. The current tower on the school is not a mobile tower, it is an intranet connection with the senior campus of Pembroke.

Telstra are planning to "swap out the mast" with a higher tower which will see the existing 27mt lattice mast replaced by a 32mt mast with 1.6mt panel antennas affixed to it. To say this is replacement or co-location is really pushing the envelope. As mentioned earlier the existing mast is located at Pembroke Secondary College, next door is the Mt Evelyn Special School and Fernhill Kindergarten, what are considered to be sensitive locations under the Code of Practice.

Cr Heenan moved a motion to strongly recommend to Telstra they the conduct further and extensive consultation. I was happy to second the motion.

I think this is scandalous. Telstra is using a loophole exemption to get away with installing a mobile tower in a sensitive location with no community consultation at all. An intranet tower is not a mobile tower, this is not a replacement nor a co-location. Telstra has shown a complete disdain for our community and we must communicate to Telstra in the strongest possible terms that they consult with the community.

The motion was supported unanimously.

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