RISKY: Residents Barry Willis, Virginia Browne, Ray Browne and Simone Smith are concerned about a proposed telecommunications tower.
RISKY: Residents Barry Willis, Virginia Browne, Ray Browne and Simone Smith are concerned about a proposed telecommunications tower. Scott Powick

Health fears raised over telco proposal

RESIDENTS are concerned about the health impacts of a proposed new telecommunication tower beside the water reservoir at Banora Point.

CPS Global contractors recently sent a letter to residents surrounding the water tower on Terranora Road, informing them of the proposed 43m telecommunication tower to replace the current aerials.

Tweed Shire Council has ordered telecommunication carriers Optus and Vodafone to remove their equipment from the tower because of the potential risk of water supply contamination.

To adhere to council's order, a Vodafone spokesperson said the proposed site adjacent to the water tower would be the best outcome to continue delivering its 3G and 4G mobile coverage.

"The site has been selected because it provides the best opportunity to maintain the current mobile experience for local residents and businesses,” the spokesperson said.

But for Banora Point resident Ray Browne, the possibility of a 43m tower being built near his house would be a greater health risk than the current situation.

"The worldwide opinion now is that (phone aerials) shouldn't be in residential areas because they're so dangerous,” Mr Browne said.

"The health aspects of this are horrific. We've got Terranora with acres and acres of rolling hills, (they could) put it out there where it will not impact on the health of people.”

Banora Point resident Simone Smith said she was also worried about how the tower would reduce property values.

"I've spent time and money fixing up my house and it seems like it is going to be a waste of time,” she said.

"Who would want to live next to a mobile tower?”

Council's engineering director David Oxenham said no development application had been submitted to council yet about the proposed tower.

"The leases for Optus and Vodafone's occupation of the site at Banora Point Reservoir have already expired,” Mr Oxenham said.

"The application needs to demonstrate that what is being proposed is, after consideration of all factors including community concerns, the best option.

"To maintain coverage, they need to relocate their equipment and council assumes there are numerous options, including remaining on the land adjoining the current site but not on the reservoir.”

Public submissions about the proposal close on Friday, November 10.

To find out more, visit the website www.rfnsa.com.au/2486001.



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