Uki phone tower protest
Late yesterday a spokesperson for residents of Meadow Place in Uki told a community access session of Tweed Shire Council a planned 30-metre-high Optus tower on a hillside near homes would be “a blight on our beautiful village”.
Homeowner Kevin Edwards warned one resident had already vowed to put his house “on the market” if councillors approve the tower at their general meeting next week.
On Monday, residents of Koala Beach in Pottsville met with two councillors to oppose another 30-metre-high tower which they say will not only be unsightly but could affect wildlife in an environmentally sensitive area.
In both cases Optus has been arguing it needs the higher towers to improve mobile phone coverage.
Yesterday councillors were also told by Petra Davis, a spokeswoman for consultants to Optus, that the company felt it had answered the “usual amenity concerns” of Uki residents and had determined “it wasn’t quite necessary” to hold any public meetings about its planned tower there.
Ms Davis said 10 sites around Uki had been considered for the tower but the terrain was rugged, making it difficult to find a suitable location.
Mr Edwards said Optus had “left us completely in the dark”, refusing to take part in any community consultation.
“We are not against progress but feel there must be a better site than a residential area in Uki,” he told the councillors.
“This tower would be a blight on our beautiful village.
“It would be visible from every street in or out of Uki, from Kyogle Road or Smith’s Creek Road.
“It would be clearly seen from the top of Mt Warning.”
Mr Edwards warned that if Optus was granted approval it could later add to the height of the tower with aerials for other carriers without going back to the council.
Ms Davis said other carriers could approach Optus for a position on the tower, but that was not part of the company’s planning.