Stop telecommunications mega tower being built in Craigie

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Unlike the invitation to comment sent out, with its imposed limitations of objection as sent out to affected properties and residence by the Joondalup City Planning Department, this petition is based on the answer to a single question:

Do you object to Optus being afforded rights to erect a base station and mast assembly in Camberwarra park, Craigie WA, as proposed in the City of Joondalup’s correspondence referenced 16294 DA17/0480?

The following are reasons for objection that the residents of Craigie and the surrounding suburbs may care to think about.

  • The design and aesthetics of the mast structure breaks up the uniformity of the skyline, and with its associated ground structures will detract from the functionality of the Park. Many of us bought homes in this area because of its canopy, green / natural areas and birdlife.
  • The mast height exceeds that as specified in section 5.1.1 (iii)(a) of the State Planning policy which specifies a maximum mast height of 30 metres. Dropping the areal array down by 1,75 will massively affect the radiation map.
  • The ground station as per the plans will be surrounded by a barbed wire fence. The original concept of green areas within our communities is to provide places where young and old can have space to relax, unwind and have fun. This will pose a major risk to the health and safety of young children and animals playing in the area.
  • The park provides refuge to an array of wildlife. Electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations and masts has been scientifically proven to be detrimental to the wellbeing of such wildlife, especially birds and bats. There is no reference made of any environment impact studies having been conducted in the information made accessible to residence. 
  • Placing mobile phone base stations in close proximity to houses and residential areas is not in accordance with internationally recognised practises and recommendations.
  • Effected parts of Craigie have been rezoned a high density residential area. The splitting of original stands into 2 and sometimes 3 separate lots, (when coupled with the building of 3 and 4 bedroomed homes) results in small garden and minuscule outdoor living areas. This Park and the Primary school grounds are the only open spaces in that allow for extensive physical recreation in the immediate area and is well used by families and dog owners.
  • The area this mast will service is currently adequately covered by alternate service providers and has been for many years. Many of us living in this area only use mobile phones and have network connected alarm systems. Unlike the NBN expansion, there is no strategic reasons for putting yet another mobile phone base station into this area. 
  • The park is public ground forming an integral part of our community, the upkeep of which is paid for by rate payers. Optus is a commercial concern who’s only interest is in financial gain. Allowing a commercial concern to operate from public ground at the detriment and expense of the local community is setting a dangerous precedent. Once a precedent like this has been set, any individual or company wanting to conduct business from any public ground within the Joondalup shire area will have to be afforded the same rights as Optus, as well as the legal right to challenge any shire decision made to the contrary.
  • The current proposal and information made available on the Shire Web Site is sketchy. It does not include any technical performance details of the proposed installation, as well as any areas that the final ground technology is going to remove from the park. It also shows no radiation exclusion zones and radiation intensity maps. No indication is shown of how transmissions from this mast are going to impact on homes and institution’s (including Craigie Primary School) which lies at an elevated level relative to this installation. The photomontage shown only pertains to the mast impact and not the base station and associated cable trenching.
  • The shown plans conveniently omit the children’s playground and barbecue areas which will be affected in the execution of this project, as well as dwellings and homes, some of which are less than 20 metres from this installation.
  • To make an informed decision on the effects of this installation on our community and surrounds based on what has been made available is not possible.

 

The reality of positioning this mast and associated base station as proposed, (although smudged in the stated scope of this brief), is the following:

  • The value of house prices in the affected areas will be negatively impacted, as will the attractiveness of living in the area.
  • Radiation intensity in the area (particularly in the proximity of the mast and ground station) will increase dramatically. There is currently continuing debate in the international technical and medical fraternity about the magnitude of its long-term effects on human health, both physiologically as well as mentally, and as to what levels of exposure are considered ‘safe’. What is agreed is that continuous exposure to high levels of electromagnetic radiation is detrimental to human health, with effects ranging from insomnia to mental health issues, cancers and organ compromise. People living in the proximity of this mast and ground station who are house bound (mothers with young infants, sick and elderly) are going to be exposed to this radiation intensity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
    More recent research conducted in the US has concluded that although the current average exposure levels of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) experience by mobile phone users, and as legislated in the US, will probably not have detrimental effects on health and long levity of the majority of the population, there are however small sectors of the population and individuals that exhibit increased sensitivity to EMR that fall outside of the context of this statement.
    Unfortunately, a lot of this technology has become commercially, and not common sense driven. What is becoming apparent is that in developed countries having commercially driven life styles which have a higher exposure to technologies such these, there is an increasing percentage of people suffering from abnormal cell related diseases such as cancers as well as mental health issues, and that the average age of individuals suffering these illnesses is becoming progressively younger.
  • There are several people living within the affected area of this proposed project who have been treated for various forms of cancer, and who have received life limited amounts of ionized radiation as part of their treatment regime. Although the effects of increased EMR on these individuals is not known, it may well have a negative impact on their long-term health and wellbeing.

 

The Joondalup Shire and Council has a duty of care to the residents who live within its bounds to ensure their safety and wellbeing, and to act in their best interests. The final and binding decision to sanction this installation rests with this institution and should the long-term results of such a decision prove to be contrary to its duty of care, both it and the individuals involved in making such a decision may well find themselves faced with retributive actions.

Optus is a commercial concern and needs to find commercial solutions to its expansion and growth which are not to the detriment of the community it serves. If the council is that committed to commercializing public grounds maybe it needs to allot Optus rights to build this installation in Pinarroo Cemetery of on other public lands that have effective residential exclusion zones, and which will not have the same impact on residents the current proposed site does. Other possibilities include a series of low impact stations positioned at more than 1 site which will achieve a far better effect than the current proposal.

It is a little sad that the rate and tax payers are being asked to compromise their life styles and potential health to accommodate historically bad business decisions made by Optus.

If you are not prepared to have a mobile phone base station built in your own backyard don’t build one in ours...



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