Mobile tower rage: ‘We pay the price’
A DEEBING Heights couple is taking aim at a major telecommunications provider after a 45m tall mobile tower was approved without their knowledge.
Darryl Beyer and Jenny Harrison of Newsky Ct live less than 300m from a recently approved Optus tower and say most of the residents on their street were not consulted.
The couple and their two children are now moving out of their family home before construction of the tower is finished for fear of its negative health effects.
"We really love it here. We back on to bushland and have kangaroos, king parrots and lizards in our back garden," Jenny said.
"We don't want to move but I see no alternative. Our plan was to stay until the children left high school in another 10 years, but 10 years is a long time to live underneath and be exposed to such a tower. I worry about the electromagnetic levels we are exposed to.
"I'd never forgive myself if anything ever happened to the children. Although the evidence would never be conclusive, I would always wonder."
Darryl said everyone in the street should have been consulted.
"There are financial implications as well, nobody can say it won't have an effect on the value of our home. It's got to have a financial impact. People don't move to bushland to have a tower leaning over them," he said.
"I've got Telstra and I've got full service.
"If Optus were the only carrier, I'd get it but there are alternatives. It's a commercial decision by a private company, Optus will benefit but we're left paying the price."
An Optus spokesperson said the mobile base station would provide customers with improved services and denied any wrongdoing.
"When assessing locations for new mobile sites, Optus uses a combination of customer feedback and our own analysis to identify the best locations," they said.
"The Queensland Government didn't require public notification to be conducted but Optus complied with the local council's request to send notification letters to residents living within a 100 metre radius of the site."
The tower is classed as a code assessable development under the Ipswich Planning Scheme, meaning that public notification was not required.
Division 10 councillor David Pahlke said the council was bound to the scheme by state planning regulations.
Cr Pahlke said while the 100m radius was the minimum, he personally asked a consultant to notify residents within 500m of the proposal.
"The bottom line is why didn't they?" he asked.
"They have complied with the relevant statutory obligations from a council perspective but the community wants more."
Optus was unable to give a completion date for the tower's construction.
"Legally, no one may have committed a criminal act, but what has happened is morally criminal," Jenny said.