New rules on towers
August 2, 2005
New rules for locating mobile phone towers announced last week don’t go far enough, says the Australian Local Government Association.
The federal Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, announced the measures, including improved community notification, more public education, improving the look and design of towers and independent audits of electromagnetic emissions.
Coonan said the carriers had given an undertaking to avoid placing a tower on single residential dwellings without the approval of the landowner and she would ask them to extend this to multistorey residential buildings.
The president of the local government association, Paul Bell, said while the measures were welcome they failed to address the need for communities to control the deployment of phone towers through their local council. “There has never been any sound justification to exempt these structures from local planning controls,” he said.
The Federal Telecommunications Act exempts carriers from state and local planning controls to install “low impact” facilities such as phone towers.
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