Stop telephone tower in residential & Green Wedge Skye

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The visual impact of a proposed 30m monopole phone tower and the well documented concerns regarding electromagnetic radiation (EMR), are two reasons this phone tower should not go ahead.   

We, the undersigned, as affected Skye residents or concerned members of the wider community, ask Frankston City Council:    

  • to not approve any construction of the Vodafone / Optus (Vodafone), 30m monopole phone tower and wireless base station proposed for 290 Hall Road SKYE, being a place inside the Green Wedge Zone, and completely out of place with the prevailing street scape; as the proposed site is situated on a ridgeline, is too close to residences, and will overshadow the character of the area; not only physically but also  with a concentrated EMR.
  • as existing legislation unfairly favours the carriers, and denies the affected community natural justice, we rely, in the first instance, on sound and appropriate council governance; for a sensible and appropriate decision concerning any such application by Vodafone or any other carrier, particularly in regard to visual amenity and in keeping with the carrier’s industry code and policy of Precautionary Principles.

The particular problems with the proposed site location include:

  1. Visual amenity and impact – it is completely out of place with the prevailing street scape and overshadows the character of the area; It is too close to residences; and will have an overshadowing effect upon the area generally due its ridge-line position, the height, location and size. The tower will have a detrimental impact on the perception of the surrounding area.
  2. Affected Community Health - we recognise (but do not accept) the prevailing industry position that emissions are not hazardous. Haven't we seen other industries claim no adverse affects being discredited?
  3. Not a black-spot - a questionable need - what is the need for it being this precise spot.  Is there enough of a genuine "need"? Or is it just because they can? Is there sufficient need to warrant the disadvantage to residents; including putting the residents in this area at risk of health problems?

1. Visual amenity and impact: Our neighborhood is comprised primarily of residential homes, and a Green Wedge Zone (GWZ). The proposed wireless monopole doesn't fit in with the environment and is incompatible with the character of our neighborhood. It would also set an unwelcomed precedent for our neighborhood.

The proposed site location  is completely out of place with the prevailing street scape, it’s planned to be situated on a ridge-line, too close to residences, and will overshadow the character of the area.

It will impact views and sight lines generally in the area. 

The planned site itself has minimal to no screening vegetation and the landscape contains only sporadic and sparse, yet protected, trees inside a Green Wedge Zone.

It will look, and be, an overbearing and imposing structure, with industrial features which are ‘out of place’ in what is predominantly a natural landscape being a GWZ protected area.

The planned site is well away from Hall Road, and so the described location is misleading.

2. Affected Community Health concerns: Skye residents, citing the Precautionary Principle and recent scientific studies, don't want the adverse health effects and increased cancer rates associated with wireless facilities and antennae, more specifically; long term low frequency radiation exposure.

Children are especially vulnerable to absorbing electromagnetic and radio frequency radiation. The mobile phone industry may argue that there is no definitive evidence that these towers are harmful, but WE argue that there is no clear evidence that these towers are safe (see EMR Price of connectivity and EMR harmful - Peer studies contains a report written by 29 independent scientists and health experts from around the world on possible health risks from wireless technologies and electromagnetic fields).  Accordingly, the residents don't want this facility being placed so close to homes and a school where children play, learn and live.

The surrounding neighborhood of Skye are all residential homes with many children. This includes, among others, existing homes directly underneath the proposed tower, that will be within the measured 100 to 400 metre (and beyond) concentric rings of the "percentage (%) of the ARPANSA Standard public exposure limit" - Note the highest %ARPANSA exposure limits are in the 100 to 300m rings; residences that should not be forced to be subjected to any possible health risks, will be, if the tower proceeds (see Vodafones own environmental EME Report for 290 Hall Road, SKYE VIC 3977 dated 8/11/2016 RFNSA Site No. 3977038  for a summary of Calculated RF EME Levels around the wireless base station. See the EME report here Site Information & Reports (enter 3977038  in the search screen for the 290 Hall Rd proposal),also refer to the above artists impression of the stated %ARPANSA exposure limits based on the EME Report. Visit the Action Page for related information and links).

Vodafone will state the industries position; that they work within acceptable levels. However do their representations only relate to the EMR they measure? For example, do they take into account the athermal effects of RF and microwave radiation and the long term effects? (See EMR - Health concerns ).

The World Health Organisation (WHO)  say in part "...  the question of potential risk ... ... remains unresolved ..." particularly for the young. That "...  the absence of evidence of harm should not necessarily be interpreted as evidence that no harm exists. ...".  

At best, the long term health impacts for pro-longed exposure to low level emissions is unknown, and its negligent to infer or say there are no health impacts, including from less than legislated emission thresholds (see WHO say EMR long term health effects unresolved).  

Haven't we seen other industry representation claims of no adverse affects later being discredited - such as in the tobacco industry (see Other failed precautionary principles). 

3. Not a black-spot - questionable need: Residents already have adequate phone and wireless data coverage in the area. There is no reported 'black spots' in this area (see OztowersBlackSpotMap zoom into Skye, Victoria Australia - note the absence of any marked reception 'black spot'). Even Vodafones own website's 'Coverage map' shows complete coverage in this area, with no gaps; and if any more towers were needed, their own 'Coverage map' indicates the more suitable sites would be North and North West of the current planned site.

Of course Vodafone will say they "need" one here, but there are always other options and other locations. Is there enough of a genuine "need"? Or is it just because they can? Is there sufficient need to warrant the disadvantage to residents; including putting the residents in this area at risk of health problems?

We don't need a new Vodaphone tower - not here - not this close.  



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