A PROPOSED mobile phone tower for Baldivis received development approval at the City of Rockingham’s February 28 council meeting.
The motion was passed 6-2, with councillors Leigh Liley and Katherine Summers opposing, it citing radiation exposure concerns.
“I’m still of the belief that it is an unproven science,” Cr Liley said.
“I know Baldivis needs one. It needs to go where people aren’t living 24/7, such as the middle of a shopping centre carpark, like at the Warnbro Fair Shopping Centre.”
Cr Summer expanded on Cr Liley’s concerns referring to Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration.
“It is the foundation in environmental and planning policy and should be considered in any planning process,” Cr Summers said.
“The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking that action.”
She added that residents in proximity of the tower were opposed.
“The 14 residents nearest the tower don’t want it anywhere near them and why should their homes and their health not be held just as important as mine or yours?”
Resident Penelope Sherrell, who lives in the vicinity of the tower, raised her concerns during question time.
“It only has an 85m setback and the tower will be built near the Parmelia Gas Pipeline,” she said. “Can council guarantee a risk assessment has been done by the proponent ensuring there is no threat of the pipeline blowing up due to its proximity to the phone tower?”
Mayor Barry Sammels said he didn’t think there was a threat as the pipeline company worked on a zero per cent risk factor when allowing development near their pipeline.
The site is on the western side of Norseman Approach and the northern side of Safety Bay Road.