• 21 SEP 11
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    People power forces towers backdown

    From the Mercury Newspaper, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

    September 21, 2011

    By Charles Waterhouse

    PUBLIC pressure has forced Telstra to abandon plans for a phone tower for a second time this month.
    The telco this week officially withdrew from Woolworths’ Sandy Bay Supermarket site where it proposed installing transmitters.

    Earlier this month Telstra withdrew plans to build a 34.5 metre transmission tower for its favoured site at Tinderbox (Tasmania) after about 200 people lodged objections.

    And in another small win for residents opposed to a telecommunications tower on the Sandy Bay site, Woolworths has formally advised the community it does not support tower developments on that site.

    But Sandy Bay Community Action group spokeswoman Anthea Hopkins said Optus was yet to follow the lead of Telstra and draw a line through the site completely.

    She said Optus although “reviewing their options in the area” had said the site “as currently designed, is no longer being actively pursued”.

    “We urge Optus to finally take note of community concerns and ask that they officially remove Woolworths as a site option,” she said.

    Mrs Hopkins said Telstra’s withdraw from the sites it had earmarked at Tinderbox and Sandy Bay suggested looming Bills from Senator Bob Brown and Denison MHR Andrew Wilkie were already making an impression. Mr Wilkie has tabled his Telecommunications Amendment (Enhancing Community Consultation) Bill 2011 which would give the community a greater say on the building of mobile phone towers and Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has introduced a similar bill to the Senate.

    “We believe poor industry practices have flourished under self-regulation, now amplified by large tower rollouts,” Mrs Hopkins said.”These practices are completly out of kilter with community expectations. For example, people may not be aware that under current regulations telcos are able to install a tower on your land against your wishes.”

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