LOWER Chittering residents said they are “disgusted” at the handling of a proposed NBN tower by the Shire of Chittering.
Marion Bates and her neighbour Michele Walker said there had been a lack of transparency from the Shire over a proposed tower on Hereford Way, which was approved last month by the council.
Ms Bates said many residents were not aware there was a proposal and others found the information and photos regarding how the tower would affect them misleading.
She said a letter sent out by the Shire to residents referred to the installation of a ‘fixed wireless facility’ with no mention of a 45m tower.
“We were told information was online, presuming all use the internet,” she said.
“The online photo was totally misleading showing the fire break behind our properties, implying the tower location was in the middle of nowhere, not in a back garden in full view from neighbouring properties.”
Ms Bates said she already had another tower opposite her property and was upset she would now have a view of two towers.
“It would be interesting to know how many residents within a 2km radius of the intended location actually received the letter of proposal, as an adjoining neighbour did not receive one, and out of the 80 that were sent out, only 15 responses were received by the Shire,” she said.
“Others on the estate we have spoken to are unaware of the proposal and I think there will be some shocked residents once this eyesore is put up.”
Ms Walker, who lives next door to the proposed site, said she was shocked when a digger arrived unannounced, with no notice from the Shire the proposal had been approved.
“We received no notification advising the proposal was going ahead, nor did we receive the courtesy of a reply to our correspondence with the shire regarding our concerns,” she said.
“Having met with councillors we were basically told we’d have no hope of having the decision reversed.
“We are not totally against these towers, but there are plenty of possible locations which would not have been so close to residents and without the possible affects to health, property values and enjoyment of their properties.”
The proposal was carried at the Shire of Chittering council meeting on April 19.
Shire of Chittering President Gordon Houston said in line with the Shire’s communication plan and statutory requirements the proposal was advertised for 20 days and community consultation was undertaken through letters, advertising and on the shire’s website.
“Any residents who had made submissions on the proposal were notified the proposal was due to be presented at the Shire’s monthly ordinary council meeting and invited to attend,” he said.
“It is acknowledged that there will be some visual impact on the amenity of the area. Having said this, the streamline design of the monopole is less obtrusive than a traditional truss style tower.
“The applicant submitted an electromagnetic energy report, which indentifies that the infrastructure would emit approximately 0.012 per cent of the maximum safe level of radiation exposure.”