ABOUT 300 residents concerned over health risks and property prices have signed two petitions against a proposed phone tower near a shopping centre in Morley.
Dianella petitionists Monica Podesta and Luciana Martino gathered signatures from residents within 250m of the Wellington Village Shopping Centre after being notified by the City of Bayswater about the Vodafone proposal.
The phone tower is for the area behind IGA, where a low-impact mobile base station is also being planned by Optus.
It was up for public comment on the City’s website until February 6, but Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish said the City had extended the closing date to February 13.
According to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, current research indicates there are no established health effects from the low exposure to radio waves generated by mobile phone transmission antennas.
However in 2011, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation as a potential carcinogen that had possible cancer risks.
Ms Martino, whose family owns eight properties near the centre, said she feared for the health of her daughter, who had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
“We don’t have a mobile phone near her, we don’t have her near a microwave – we are trying to make these precautions and yet they want to go and put this big tower despite all of our efforts,” she said.
A Vodafone spokeswoman said the proposal complied with all regulatory requirements and health standards.
“Vodafone takes a range of factors into consideration before selecting a site for a new mobile tower, including the proximity to local residences and businesses, any potential environmental impact and whether that site is the best location to provide mobile services to our local customers,” she said.
“The proposed location and design of the site was determined to be most suitable to fulfil the growing coverage requirements of the community.”
An Optus spokeswoman said the proposed mobile base station would improve mobile services and mobile internet speeds in the area.
IGA Wellington Village owner Renato Divitini, whose property manager notified him about the two proposals in September, said he was concerned that the proposals would put “fear” into his customers and would affect sales.
Ms Podesta said there was no need for a phone tower because residents had decent internet access and mobile coverage.
She said she and Ms Martino would combine their two petitions for Bayswater councillor Filomena Piffaretti and Stirling Deputy Mayor David Lagan or Cr Bianca Sandri to table at meetings before February 12.
A City of Stirling spokeswoman said the City intended to comment on the proposal in response to Bayswater’s notification on January 16.
Ms Martino said in light of another phone tower at Crimea Reserve, she feared if this proposal was refused by Bayswater council and Vodafone appealed that decision at the State Administrative Tribunal, the Tribunal would overrule council’s decision.
Cr Chris Cornish said he fully understood community concerns.
Centre property managers Burgess Rawson were contacted for comment.