James digs heels in about tower power



RESIDENTS of Bogangar, Cabarita Beach and Hastings Point could soon have improved mobile-phone coverage courtesy of a proposed telecommunications tower to be built on Round Mountain by Telstra - but its power supply has to go underground.

Tweed Shire councillors this week voted 9-2 (Crs Lynne Beck and Bob Brinsmead against) in support of a motion by Greens Coun- cillor Henry James to allow the environmentally-protected area surrounding the water reservoir on Round Mountain Road to be used for the 30-metre mobilephone base tower as long as Telstra installs its power supply underground.

Cr James said underground power cables made more sense than running them through an ecologically-sensitive site.

He said a letter from Telstra on the issue was non-committal on underground power but Council should insist on their agreeing to the proviso before rezoning the land to allow for the tower.

"We should try the best we can to ensure it is built to the highest standards," Cr James said.

Cr Beck said imposing the condition for underground power supply would "hold it up and make it more costly".

Only by Crs Brinsmead and Warren Polglase backed her move to give the tower the go-ahead without conditions.

Cr James said the area was burnt to a cinder in a recent bushfire and if the power supply had of been above ground it would have been interrupted, before adding that emergencies were the time when mobile phones were most needed.



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