Tower plan still on hold
TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Optus late yesterday copped yet another setback in its controversial plan for a 30 metre-high mobile phone tower, which has divided the Uki community.
With part of the population wanting improved mobile phone services, and another section objecting to the tower’s location on a prominent hill potentially affecting wildlife, Tweed Shire councillors again deferred any decision.
Instead they called for more community consultation on an alternative site.
Optus has been hoping since early this year to get approval to build the tower on the top of a prominent hill off Meadow Place, Uki, but the proposal split local residents.
Last month the council deferred consideration, telling Optus to hold a public meeting on the issue.
Yesterday Cr Barry Longland, a Uki resident, successfully argued for further deferral “pending community consultation to determine a more suitable site”.
He said a meeting called by Optus last week in the Mt Warning Hotel at Uki was done so “at very short notice” and Optus itself had since described the meeting simply as “a community briefing session”.
Greens Party councillor Katie Milne said it seemed the consultation had “not been very effective.”
Cr Phil Youngblutt was the only one to oppose deferral.
However just over an hour later only Cr Milne opposed plans for a new Telstra mobile phone facility at the reservoir on Hospital Hill in Murwillumbah.
The other six councillors voted in favour of leasing just over 24 square metres of council property to Telstra for an equipment shed and “six panel antennae”.
Cr Milne warned of the potential danger of radiowaves, warning: “You don’t want to have those around where there are vulnerable, sick and elderly people, some recovering from operations,” she said.
“It is a very sensitive site.”
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