PARKWOOD residents Nicole and Noel Harrison want City of Canning to reject a proposal to erect a mobile phone telecommunications tower on Hossack Reserve fearing health implications for locals if approved.
Earlier this month the City invited residents within a 300m radius of the reserve to make submissions on a Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) development application for a telecommunications facility on the reserve for use by Optus and VHA.
The Harrisons, who live on Hossack Avenue across the road from the reserve, are concerned about possible long-term health implications the tower may pose.
“All the research I could find indicates there are not enough studies to confirm there are no heath risks associated with mobile phone towers,” Mr Harrison said.
Mr Harrison said council’s Town Planning Scheme provided guidelines for council in assessing applications for telecommunication facilities that included “telecommunication facilities should not be located within 300m radius of sensitive uses such as schools, child day care centres, nursing homes, hospitals, children’s playgrounds and all existing/proposed residential areas.”
He said the reserve was the only major sporting and family park in the local area and within 300m of the tower’s proposed location was a child infant health centre, a playgroup, two playgrounds, a bicycle-training playground, a community hall and houses.
“Children are constantly on this reserve for sports training and games. Once a week you will have sports carnivals here,” he said.
Mr Harrison said for the tower to go ahead council would need to agree to allow the applicant to override a policy requirement put in place for a specific reason.
“If the health risk is not a concern then why is the City asking us in relation to overriding a requirement for the tower to be located 300m from these sensitive uses?,” he said.
Mr Harrison said better sites for the tower included nearby industrial areas and public open space on the Canning River and in Ferndale.
“I understand this is the first stage of the process for approval and it doesn’t mean it will be approved, but I wish to be clear that as a resident I challenge that this tower should be installed in this location,” he said.
Mother of two small children Cat Domican, who is secretary of Parkwood Playgroup, shares the Harrisons’ concerns.
Miss Domican said if the tower was built she would stop visiting the playgroup at the reserve over concerns about possible health implications.
“My concern is the reserve is an area that is used by children. There is no long-term research to say whether these towers are safe or not,” she said.
Vodafone said there were strict legislative requirements and health standards for the siting and operation of telecommunication facilities that all operators had to observe and Vodafone was in full compliance of these.
Submissions to the City of Canning on the mobile phone tower proposal can be made by email to email@example.com quoting reference number 15/18166.1 or visit the City’s web site at www.canning.wa.gov.au.