‘Angry’ Morley residents fear health concerns from phone tower at Crimea Reserve

Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson with Morley residents Kerry Smith, Lana Badenko, Pam Kelly, Joy Nichols, Lindy Chee, Neil Chapman.
Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson with Morley residents Kerry Smith, Lana Badenko, Pam Kelly, Joy Nichols, Lindy Chee, Neil Chapman.

A GROUP of “angry” Morley residents fear for the unknown health concerns an approved telecommunications base tower at Crimea Reserve will bring to the area.

The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) approved applicant Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd’s proposal for a 20m monopole tower with six panel antennas attached and equipment shelter worth $150,000 on October 6, subject to conditions.

Conditions include for the tower to cater at least two other telecommunications carriers, a detailed schedule of colours and materials and a landscape plan to be submitted and approved by the City of Bayswater.

The City refused to grant planning approval in October last year.

Morley resident Joy Nichols, who helped gather 205 signatures for a petition against the tower in 2016, said the tower would affect people living near the reserve, public users and sporting clubs.

“The locals want a say in how the money is spent each year so it can benefit the whole community, not just Morley Eagles Baseball Club,” she said.

A City spokesman said while the City was disappointed with SAT’s decision, there were no grounds for the City to seek a judicial review.

“The City will now start the process of preparing the lease and will get a valuation to assess the appropriate rental for consideration by council,” he said.

“The income from the rental will be used on the maintenance and upgrading of Crimea Park, but as yet no decision has yet been made on what that will be involve.”

“We understand that Vodafone is making an application to SAT for an award of costs from the City… in response, the City will file submissions opposing the application for costs.”

A Vodafone spokeswoman said the new site would meet the growing demand for mobile voice and data services and offer more choice to residents and businesses in Morley.

“There are strict regulatory requirements and health standards all telecommunications operators must adhere to in relation to the design, sitting and operation of mobile facilities… we are complying with all our obligations,” she said.

“We are going through a process to recover a portion of the legal costs… it’s not uncommon in cases for the successful party to do so.”

Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson said the tower was not necessary and could have been better placed in bushland, similar to many towers in the City of Stirling.

The group of Morley residents will be raising questions at the next Bayswater council meeting on November 7.

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