Plan to block new phone tower

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
An approximate location of the proposed phone tower (red circle).
Camera IconAn approximate location of the proposed phone tower (red circle). Credit: Google

A Robinson woman is determined to stop a new mobile tower going up in her suburb, with a petition launched in an attempt to stop the project going ahead.

Wendy Bunbury has called on her neighbours to challenge the proposed 40m-tall radio tower on Home Road.

So far a petition has about 60 signatures, which will go to the City of Albany urging the council to block approval for the tower, which would be unpainted.

Ms Bunbury’s main claims revolved around concerns over 5G technology and visual impact.

The tower would initially provide 4G service, but could be upgraded to 5G later.

While health concerns are unsubstantiated — a 2019 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency statement said there were “no established health effects” from 5G radio waves — the nine-storey tower could detract from views over the area, and affect native species.

Visionstream, the company which created a planning assessment report for the Telstra tower, did note threatened species could be affected by the tower.

Ms Bunbury said it would be a visual blight for years once installed.

“Everybody has the same issue with aesthetics,” he said. “It’s going to be 40m high, set back 15m from the road.

“Everybody — pretty much when they look out their windows — that’s what they’re going to see.

“It’s a beautiful area for sunsets . . . (now) that tower will be in the way.”

Telstra regional general manager Boyd Brown said the tower, which would be part of the service provider’s 4GX mobile coverage service, presented no health concerns.

“We take our responsibilities regarding the health and safety of our customers and the community very seriously,” they said.

“Both the network and the device power will be low, which means low levels of (electromagnetic field) on 5G.

“The current mobile network in the area is not keeping pace with local demand for the internet and data services and we’ve received customer feedback that changes need to be made.”

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