Tweed Shire councillor Dot Holdom (left) talks with Koala Beach residents' spokesman Alan Johnston (centre) and Cr Barry Longland about plans for a mobile phone tower in their neighbourhood.
Tweed Shire councillor Dot Holdom (left) talks with Koala Beach residents' spokesman Alan Johnston (centre) and Cr Barry Longland about plans for a mobile phone tower in their neighbourhood. Crystal Spencer

Uki phone tower okay

A CONTROVERSIAL mobile phone tower proposed for a prominent hillside just outside Uki looks set to get the go-ahead in the wake of a Tweed Shire Council report which concludes it will enhance telecommunications services.

Councillors are due to vote on the development tomorrow following a campaign by some residents against the 30-metre-high tower.

It is one of two controversial towers currently proposed by Optus on the Tweed, with another proposed in the environmentally-friendly Pottsville residential estate Koala Beach sparking protests.

In Uki the community residents have also protested but the community has been split – sending in 34 letters against the tower and six in favour.

A report to councillors says: “Council officers consider that the proposed telecommunication facility will enhance the telecommunications services in Uki and the broader locality and therefore are recommending approval of the application.”

“It is considered that the location and design of the proposal is suitable without causing any significant adverse impacts on the natural and built environments,” it adds.

“The communications facility will also create a positive impact socially and economically by providing enhanced telecommunications coverage for the locality.”

Meanwhile, the peak industry body representing mobile phone companies, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, has moved to reassure Tweed residents that radiation from mobile phone towers is not dam- aging to the environment or dangerous to health.

The association’s chief executive officer, Chris Althaus, said “no credible scientific evidence” is available to that mobile phone base stations damage the environment.

He said an internationally recognised review of available research shows “little or no evidence of a significant environmental impact, except for some effects near very strong sources”.

“Higher levels of radio frequency energy have been in the environment long before mobile phone base stations appeared,” Mr Althaus said.

“A nationwide study conducted by the Federal Health Department found that AM radio was by far the most significant contributor of radio frequency emissions in the environment (91.2 per cent).

“Digital mobile phone base stations contributed only a small part of environmental levels (1.4 per cent).

“The environment has been subjected to the far higher environmental exposure from radio and television broadcasts for many decades with no solid scientific evidence of adverse effects.”

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Uki phone tower protest

Koala Beach phone tower protest


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