Beecher residents concerned over Telstra tower approval

Beecher residents unhappy phone tower to be built near homes

A BEECHER neighbourhood is unhappy with the reception they have received from Gladstone Regional Council and communication giant Telstra.

After two years of petitioning to prevent a 37-metre Telstra mobile phone tower from being built 100 metres from their Wyndham Rd homes, it appears residents have lost the battle.

Last week Gladstone Regional Council gave Telstra the green light to build the structure on a Wyndham Rd property.

Initially council refused Telstra's development application because of the tower's proximity to homes in the area.

After a hearing in the Planning and Environment Court in 2011, Telstra and the council agreed outside of court that Telstra could use the Beecher site providing the tower be built 70 metres from the initial location proposed.

Wyndham Rd resident Lisa Jayne said she was still concerned about the health factors associated with living next to a mobile phone tower.

"It's very close to our home. We have four children and I'm worried about their health," Ms Jayne said.

"The location could also devalue our home."

Ms Jayne said her frustration also lied with Gladstone Regional Council, which failed to provide public notice of the approval.

Ms Jayne said she and other family members in the area had paid up to $50,000 in rates to council.

"Now they're not willing to help us."

Ross Lowly, who also lives in Beecher, said he was concerned that the council had allowed Telstra to start construction without submitting a new application.

Gladstone Regional Council Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett said a new application was not necessary.

"The court proceedings and decision as part of any planning appeal happen outside of council and are not undertaken within a council meeting," Mr Burnett said.

Telstra said a new mobile site needed to be built within the Burua and Beecher area to improve reception in the area.

Telstra said the closest home to the tower was 100 metres away and that all Telstra sites met with Australia's guidelines about emissions.

Timeline

  • April 14, 2011 Telstra submits development application.
  • July 19, 2011 GRC refuses the application.
  • August 18, 2011 Telstra lodges an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane.
  • November 30, 2012. A final consent order is issued at court.
  • 2013: Telstra allowed to build, 70m from previous application.