Decision deferred

The City of Cockburn says large shade trees will partially screen the tower from view.
The City of Cockburn says large shade trees will partially screen the tower from view.

Telstra had plans to build a 30-metre monopole, an equipment cabin, ancillary access and safety equipment behind business on Barrington Street and homes on Plover Drive.

However, council deferred the decision until the New Year to investigate other possible sites for the facility. The likelihood of finding another suitable site seems low, with Telstra saying it had already researched different locations.

In a report to the City, Telstra said the infrastructure would be used to improve wireless broadband access. It also said there were no other opportunities to co-locate the infrastructure or use existing buildings if it was to fulfil its coverage objective.

Landowners within a 200-metre radius of the proposed site were consulted, with 13 submissions received. Only one, from the Department of Housing, indicated no objection. The other 12 submissions all cited health reasons for their objection.

A report by Telstra into the tower’s radio frequency electromagnetic emissions estimated it would operate at 0.85 per cent of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency’s limit.

‘I still object,’ Global Automatics employee Shirley Howard said.

‘It’s the long-term effects that they have to prove exist or don’t exist before I’ll really consider it.’

Coogee Freight Services manager Paul Yakas said he wouldn’t mind the facility being there as long as it operated within the set limits.

‘The phone service is a bit hopeless at the moment so we’re happy for anything that could fix it, while also maintaining safe emission levels,’ he said.