The following is from the latest community newsletter from the “Beaconsfield Action Group” from Fremantle, West Australia. Though only briefly covered in the mainstream Australian media, Australian community protests against the unregulated roll out of anything wireless that the Telcos can dream up is on the increase in the major population centres, reflecting a growing trend internationally.
Beaconsfield Action Group Newsletter
B.A.G was inaugurated on 01/06/03 to campaign for the removal of Hutchison Orange’s 3G mobile phone station at 20 Moran St, Beaconsfield on the grounds that it is situated too close to a primary school, a retirement village, a day care centre, and local residents’ homes.
Newsletter No.4 12/06/05
(Photo) Last month residents from all over Sydney rallied in Leichhardt NSW against mobile phone towers in their neighbourhoods.
What’s Happening with the Tower?
If only we knew. Some of you may remember that after a lot of hard work lobbying and door knocking we were a hair’s breadth away from seeing The Fremantle Council take legal action against Hutchison 3 last year. When suddenly out of nowhere we were pipped at the post by a councillor from White Gum Valley who decided all legal action against Jan ter Horst, including the tower, should cease pending the outcome of a police investigation; and further pending the outcome of a mediation process between ter Horst and the Freo Council.We were a little miffed at the time because not only were we told about it on the same day of the Council meeting but no one, including the councillor from WGV, thought about consulting anyone else besides Mr ter Horst. Earlier this year that same councillor tried to get all legal action completely stopped, not just deferred, as a departing gift to us all. Fortunately, Freo Council supported us on this and legal action remained deferred.
That was the bad news. Now here’s the really bad news! Last Thursday morning I was astounded to hear the issue had been voted on again. This time, yet another councillor from WGV (don’t you people like us or something?), had asked that the proposed mediation process between ter Horst and Council be amended. And what did he want amending? You guessed it! The tower is to be left completely out of the mediation process. The original mediation plan stipulated that the tower should be removed at the end of ter Horst’s contract with Hutchison. That’s still another 7 years! Not a bad deal you’d think. But no, Council decided that even this was too much to ask of ter Horst.
The Mayor wasn’t at the meeting and the only two councillors who voted against the amendment were Cr Steve Gorman and Cr Doug Thompson.
But wait! It’s not too late. Thanks to South Ward’s knight in shining armour, Jon Strachan, an alternative motion will be put forward to the one we think stinks at Council’s meeting on Wednesday, June 22. Please help lobby all councillors, write to them, e-mail them or ring them before that date. They won’t bite!
News from Around the Globe…
The UK: The Dearly Departed will get Great Reception Residents in Stratford protested earlier this month at Hutchison 3’s plans to put a mobile phone tower on top of a cemetery chapel.
Rome: Even Holy EMR Waves Kill A Roman Catholic cardinal and a priest in charge of Vatican Radio were given suspended jail sentences after it was found that higher than acceptable EMR levels had been put out by Vatican Radio broadcasting antennas. There was a higher than normal cancer rate in the area near the antennas.
The UK: Mobile Phone Towers Dressed as Cypress Trees Residents in Dulwich have protested against plans to disguise two 60ft mobile phone towers as Cypress trees. Natural trees in the area are deciduous and residents have said the fake trees will look ridiculous when all the other trees are dropping their leaves.
USA: House an Eyesore A home in Sacramento’s south Natomas neighbourhood was covered in aluminium sheets. Even the walls and beds inside the house were protected in foil. Neighbours complained it was an eyesore. The family who covered their house in metal say they did it to protect themselves from electromagnetic radiation. Unlike ter Horst though, the family agreed to remove the offending material when ordered to by local officials.
The UK: Concern about Interference with Hearing Aids In Farnborough teachers and residents are fighting plans to install a mobile phone mast near two schools. One of the schools caters to the hearing impaired and parents are concerned about reports that mobile phone towers interfere with hearing aid reception.
In the Media
We almost had our story on Today Tonight and in The West Australian until the producers/editors knew which house the tower was on. Oh no, they said, choking on their coffee, we can’t stomach another Jan ter Horst story! Torrance Mendez ended up doing an excellent ter Horst-free story in The West and we have had a lot of letters printed in The Herald, The Rooster, The Community Newspaper, and even one in The Sydney Morning Herald. The SMH can’t compare to our very own Rooster though! Obsequious? Moi? Never!
HEALTH: If anyone is interested we have a 2 page info sheet called Five Studies Showing Ill – Health Effects from Masts (Document produced by Dr Grahame Blackwell 21 Feb 2005). It’s a good one for the sceptics.
Some of you may remember us saying we were going to hold a sundowner when we moved back here. Don’t think you weren’t invited! We didn’t have one! We’ll have one later in the year and we won’t make you do any petitions, we promise!
DVD We have been loaning out an excellent DVD from the states about mobile phone towers called Public Exposure. We were planning to try and do a public screening in Freo but have had problems copying it. We are just waiting on another copy to come from the film’s producers, in the US, via our dear ‘comrade’ in NSW, Anne Wagstaffs, convener of Tower Sanity.
Please support us: DON’T BUY A 3 PHONE! Even if it’s a fantastic deal! Be strong!
Beaconsfield Action Group