Banjup residents erect crane to simulate visual impact proposed telecommunications tower would have


Councillor Lee-Anne Smith outside a Harper Street property proposed for a Vodafone telecommunications tower. Picture: Bronwyn Donovan
Councillor Lee-Anne Smith outside a Harper Street property proposed for a Vodafone telecommunications tower. Picture: Bronwyn Donovan

BANJUP residents have banded together to erect a crane to simulate how a proposed telecommunications tower would have a visual impact on the area.

Vodafone sought to gain approval to install a 37m-high tower and equipment shelter at the back of a property on Harper Road to meet customer demand in Banjup and surrounding suburbs.

At its June meeting, City of Cockburn councillors passed an unchallenged motion to reject planning approval for the telecommunications tower.

Vodafone, with engineering consultants Aurecon Australasia, appealed the motion, which is set for a State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) hearing on October 24.

Councillor Lee-Anne Smith said after the initial appeals sessions residents came up with idea to simulate the tower by erecting a crane to show SAT the effect it would have on the suburb.

The residents were supported by the City of Cockburn.

“After speaking with the resident (whose property will be used for the tower) and showing her the officer’s report containing 79 objections she was distraught,” Cr Smith said.

“She had no idea of the impact on the community and is now keen to work with neighbours in the fight against the tower.”

At a deputation in June, Aurecon argued the proposed site was suitable because it did not impose on any significant views or heritage sites and there were no opportunities, as there are in business districts, to mount antennas on elevated rooftops.

“The nature of the technology is such that monopoles cannot be completely screened from view as the antennas need to be elevated above the terrain and other obstructions such as vegetation,” a spokesman said.

“Should new facilities only be supported in industrial or remote areas, where no objections are received, there would simply be no effective telecommunications network in the metropolitan area.”

This is the second phone tower application fought off by local residents this year, with Cockburn councillors also voting down an Optus proposal in February.

 

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