Update: 01 July 2014 Examiner: Backlash over Towers
Update: 13 May 2014 Examiner: Corlette Telstra Tower Battle May not Be Over
Update 11 December 2013
The Corlette Telstra Phone Tower DA was comprehensively rejected in a unanimous decision of Council last night. (not too many of those lately) There was a large busload of red shirted, placard waving protesters supporting several strong advocates that addressed Council against this proposal in public access, and a couple of harassed looking Telstra types put their affirmative case which did not receive much support from any quarter.
With such a large crowd in attendance, in a bid to get on side before the Wallalong debate that was to to follow, all the Councillors took the opportunity to break into furious agreement on the subject one after another. It was obvious that that Mayor was letting them all make the most of it, if he was really fair dinkum about saving time as he did by cutting off the presentations, he could have just said “Is there any opposition? no, Carried.”
The ‘not in my backyard’ syndrome was pretty evident in the arguments put and fair enough, but I would not like to be ringing Telstra complaining about dropouts or poor coverage any time soon. With the demand doubling every year in the area it will definitely be a problem in the future. Hopefully Telstra can find another way……..
As usual Councillor Dingle made a well thought out contribution that should be noted by all. He said: “there should always be proper local consultation with the residents and their wishes must always be taken into account by the proponents. If the majority are prepared to sacrifice some technological performance for visual and health reasons then so be it. As long as they are given proper information to make their decision they should have the right to make it” Hear! Hear!
Posted 11 November 2013
TRRA has recently received correspondence from concerned members and residents In the Corlette area about the re-emergence of a former plan to install a mobile phone transmission tower on the hilltop reserve about 300 metres southeast of the corner of Foreshore Drive & Sandy Point Road. This was covered in an article in the Examiner 5 November 2013 HERE . There was an earlier article on October 22nd (which said the proposed tower is only 30 feet high – should have read 30 meters!) HERE.
Unfortunately submissions on this matter closed on 31 October 2013 and we have not had the opportunity to discuss this at any of our meetings, but we feel that we should assist the local action group to publicise as much information as possible about the proposal so that the community is properly informed of its implications.
NO Mobile Phone Tower in Corlette!
In November 2010, Telstra lodged a Developed Application (DA) with the Council to put a mobile phone tower on a Corlette bush reserve hilltop, 300m south of Salamander Beach. Community protest against this site was strong and Telstra withdrew the application.
Now Telstra are back again with much the same proposal. Minimal publicity and time for public comment was provided. One could be forgiven for thinking it is being quietly rushed through council approval.
The site proposed is at the north end of the Salamander Tops public recreation reserve, 335 metres from, and looking out over Salamander Beach. The tower would be 30 metres high, protruding 5 metres above the treeline. So it would stick out like a sore thumb on the lovely skyline seen from the beach, nearby streets and public reserves.
The tower would transmit electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day, and the radiation level would increase over time as Telstra, Optus, Hutchinson and Vodaphone use the tower to increase their profits. Yet the site is only 54 metres from the nearest households, and 10 metres from the popular Salamander Tops walking track around the hilltop. Despite Telstra’s attempts to reassure, local people are concerned about possible long term health impacts.
Koalas, birds and other wildlife living in the reserve would be exposed to high radiation levels. Trees will have to be cut down around the tower to install it and to meet RFS guidelines, further eroding precious habitat.
Local residents have reformed the Corlette Action Group (CAG) and steadfastly oppose this development at this specific site and have been informing local people and collecting petition signatures. The CAG has a Facebook page here:
… and an online petition site here:
The previous application was withdrawn as Port Stephens Council were not able to enter into a lease arrangement with Telstra for the land, however Telstra have now signed a lease with Hunter Water, to lease a 9 meter by 6 meter plot of Hunter Water Land inside the reserve.
This reserve is zoned as 6(a) General Recreation in the present Port Stephens LEP. A mobile phone tower would be inappropriate use of this reserve – an alternative site could be found by Telstra.
As well as being inconsistent with the zoning on site the DA is at odds with the protection of the foreshore vistas in the LEP and is only 335 meters away from Salamander Beach, not the 1 kilometre from the foreshore, as claimed in the Telstra DA Planning Report. Given its proximity to the foreshore, the visual impact is significant and unacceptable.
Peter O’Carroll, Corlette Action Group (CAG)
You can put a free app on your smart phone called ‘Quick Scan’ : HERE which can scan the ‘QR’ codes (Quick Recognition Bar Codes) in the picture by holding the phone camera over it until it beeps. This will take you straight to the website and Face Book pages.