Calls to reject mobile upgrade
OPTUS could be facing another fight in the northern suburbs, with a Greenwood mother opposing a proposed phone panel near her home.
Vedrana Martino said she received a letter from the telecommunications company on November 9, advising of a proposed update of an existing light pole at a mobile base station next to 61 Bouvardia Way, near Hepburn Avenue.
“This would be situated 30 to 40 metres across from my house and is in a highly populated residential area with a lot of young families,” she said.
“I have a young son and had a stroke few years ago, so I have deep fear now for my health and for others around me.”
The proposal is for a ‘small cell’, which is a small panel antenna at the top of an existing pole and an equipment shelter.
This is different than the community-opposed Optus tower at Camberwarra Park in Craigie, which was refused by the Joondalup Council last week.
“A small cell is a lowpower mobile cell site designed to enhance Optus’s 4G coverage in the immediate area, including along the road corridor,” an Optus spokesperson said.
“Using small cells can achieve this objective without the need for a tower or larger installation.”
Ms Martino said only her and two of her neighbours had received the letter from Optus, so the rest of the residents in Bouvardia Way were not aware of the proposal.
“There is a small sign that looks like a lost dog poster on the light pole about the proposed upgrade, but I have surveyed a few of my neighbours and so far no one has read or noticed it,” she said.
“I am deeply disturbed at how this proposal can even be a possibility without any council approval or any consideration from the local residents.”
City of Joondalup chief executive Garry Hunt said small cells were considered low impact technology and under the Telecommunications Act were exempt from planning approval.
An Optus spokesperson said all mobile phone networks “must comply with science-based regulations mandated by the Federal Government in relation to exposure to EME (electromagnetic energy) from mobile phone base stations”.
Vedrana Martino with her son Chace.