Felton St phone tower

Residents of Lane Cove North have lodged the following objection to a proposed mobile phone tower in Felton St:

MobilePhoneTower

“We represent the residents of the Lane Cove North area living in close proximity to your proposed mobile phone tower, to be erected on the aged care facility at 3 Felton Avenue Lane Cove North.

We are writing in response to your summary of the information session held on 10th August 2016, and your responses to our concerns about this installation.

Despite a large number of local residents strongly objecting to this installation on the rooftop, we feel that you are ignoring our concerns, and recommending this proposal to Optus & Vodafone on purely economic grounds.

You are repeatedly referring to standards issued by ARPANSA and WHO, in an effort to make us feel comfortable with your decision. However, these “safety” standards cannot guarantee that health issues will not occur in the future. They are heavily influenced by the need to allow business and industry to flourish, while allaying people’s safety concerns.

We take the position that it is better to err on the side of caution. We would rather take precautions in the absence of “refutable” evidence than blindly accept what we have been told. Indeed, there have been numerous articles and case studies written globally about the potential health risks involved with living next to mobile base stations. Yes, they are in the early stages of research, and their results are not conclusive. However, they are still significant.

Evidence on the health effects of mobile phone towers will only come with further rigorous testing and the passage of time. We do not want to find, in 10 to 20 years’ time, that we have a cancer cluster in our area.

We all remember how smoking was once deemed safe and healthy – our regulatory agencies and health commissions pronounced loudly and clearly that smoking was NOT a health hazard. Now, years later, after conclusive testing and evidence, we are trying to handle the backlash of these decisions. The Tobacco Industry knew the facts well before they were disclosed to the public, and the regulations surrounding smoking were always lagging behind. Our governments now spend billions of dollars in anti-smoking advertising and our health system is struggling to handle the huge increase in cancer patients.

So your points on arranging for further discussions with ARPANSA and other engineers are quite pointless. They will argue from their viewpoint, based on the currently available official scientific information and taking the political approach to enable business.

They do not have to live in proximity to this tower and wonder if or when they are going to suffer any health issues.

It is also interesting to note that your original calculations as to the maximum EME levels from this site have changed from the date of your letter drop to what is now showing on your website. How can we have any confidence in these figures if they are not valid or consistent?

Your explanation on the Deployment Code process gave the impression of “all of the boxes being ticked” in accordance with the laws. You claim that notifications were hand delivered to all people in the applicable surrounding area. However we have comments from residents that they know nothing about this installation, and have received no notifications. We have obtained more than 150 signatures so far on our petition, and the number is growing, as we door knock more residents.

Willoughby Council was given a Consultation Plan on 10th June, and you state that Visionstream has received no comment from Council to date. However, we have contacted Willoughby Council local sitting members who do NOT support your proposal, and are in full agreement with the Mowbray Road Action Group.

Your summary point, rejecting our siting of the mobile phone tower as inappropriate, only repeats the “safety” of the ARPANSA position, which we have discussed above.

In addition, you state the need for better mobile phone coverage in our community, for users and business. Optus & Vodafone have recognised that the coverage area for this tower extends from Epping to Chatswood, with a concentrated coverage along Mowbray Rd – however, they still want to reach as wide an area as to Chatswood Golf Course. Our Group has recommended a number of other sites that could be more suitable, and not be in such a high density area, with childcare and elderly residences.

Your listing of all the requirements for an “appropriate site” could equally apply to other locations. Indeed, Chatswood Golf Club was an appropriate (and nearly approved) site until community disapproval stopped it. At the community meeting on 10th August, Fran Parker confirmed that the Metro Service Station on Mowbray Rd was ruled out, because “the owner would not agree”. So simply selecting an appropriate site is not enough – it needs the owner to approve first, and then it is pushed into the community, regardless of what they really want.

The Mowbray Road Action Group would like to suggest that you discontinue focussing on our site, for all the reasons we have given, and look to alternative locations. If you want it on a high vantage point, consider the newly finished Meriton Arise tower on Epping Highway at Lane Cove – it would certainly include coverage from Epping to Chatswood, and along Mowbray Road. The Chubb Light Industrial Area at the base of Mowbray Road is another suggestion, as is the Metro Service Station at the top of the ridge at Centennial Avenue.

In conclusion, we would like to formally confirm that the Mowbray Road Action Group represents all the residents that oppose this installation. We will object to this proposal with the full force and effect of the law, and will use all avenues to ensure that our Group’s wishes are taken into full consideration.

Your request for individuals to contact Visionstream to discuss all our issues is quite pointless and a waste of time. We understand what we want, and would like our position to be respected.

We urge you to please reconsider any acceptance of this proposed telecommunications facility on the rooftop of St Peters Lane Cove North. We await your earliest response.

Yours sincerely,

Mowbray Road Action Group

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