Livingstone Council to debate controversial 5G tower plan
CONSCIOUS of the anger radiating from the Yeppoon community over Telstra’s proposal to upgrade their Mary St telecommunications tower to 5G, Livingstone Shire Council will discuss the issue in its meeting today.
One Nation’s candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery spoke out about the proposal after being approached by residents concerned about a 5G tower upgrade and its proximity to nearby residences.
“The proposed site sits just 14 metres from the bedroom of one Raymond Terrace property with the property owner notifying me yesterday of the issue,” Mr Rothery said last week.
“Given the concern many residents have with the new 5G towers, you’d think Telstra would attempt to install these antennas further away from residential properties.”
The upgrade of the existing mobile phone base station at the Yeppoon exchange facility, did not require a development application, but was required to seek feedback from residents – which ended on Friday.
Livingstone Shire mayor Andy Ireland said Council was acting on the community’s concerns.
“Council had requested a meeting with Telstra and Aurecon on behalf of Livingstone Shire Council residents, following a number of submissions received from residents in regards to general concerns about the potential impacts associated with 5G Infrastructure and in particular for the proposal at 33 Mary Street Yeppoon,” Cr Ireland said.
“Council will also be discussing the community’s concerns around 5G technology in the Livingstone Shire Council area at its Ordinary Council Meeting.”
Mr Rothery had suggested Telstra look to relocate the antennas to one of the number of elevated buildings across Yeppoon’s town centre.
“Bayview Tower, The Hub and council’s carpark would make more suitable and less intrusive sites for these proposed antennas,” he said.
>> READ: Telstra’s savage reply to 5G attack
Telstra QLD regional general manager Rachel Cliffe said previously they had proposed upgrading the existing site to 5G, and had informed the community and residents with a sign at the site, and letterbox drops.
“We comply with all limits and regulations regarding safe exposure of radiofrequency signals set by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and based on the assessment for this site and all nearby properties the levels fall well within this standard,” Ms Cliffe said.
“Due to the elevated position of the current site, moving the equipment to the town centre would limit the level and reach of mobile coverage that the community currently expects and relies upon.
“EME levels of 5G are similar to that of 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks. We rely on the expert advice of Australian and international health authorities including the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) for overall assessments relating to health and safety, as well as our own testing.
She said these organisation’s research indicated there was no established evidence for health effects from radio waves used in mobile telecommunications, including 5G.
Telstra provided more information on its fact sheet.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy confirmed the safety of 5G in an official public statement.
“I’d like to reassure the community that 5G technology is safe,” Dr Murphy said.
“There is no evidence telecommunication technologies, such as 5G, cause adverse health impacts.
“This position is supported by health authorities in Australia and around the world.
“Mobile phone networks and other wireless telecommunications emit low-powered radio waves also known as radiofrequency EME. This is different to ionising radiation associated with nuclear energy or use in medicine.”
He said the radio waves to which the general public was exposed from telecommunications were not hazardous to human health.
To ensure the public remained protected, he said limits were established to protect people from exposure to radio waves with the limits set well below the levels where there is evidence of some biological effects such as tissue heating.
“Under the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s regulatory framework, all telecommunications, including new 5G technology, have to comply with the exposure limits.”
In order to further improve understanding about this issue, the Australian Government recently announced an investment of $9 million over four years to assure the public of the safety of telecommunications networks, including new 5G mobile networks.
New initiatives under the Enhanced EME Program will include more targeted scientific research and public information to address community concerns.