Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Abide by the System: Dwyer; Councillor Defends Approval

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Abide by the System: Dwyer; Councillor Defends Approval

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman bill.hoffman@scnews.com.au

RESIDENTS have vowed to fight to stop Telstra plans to build a 32-metre telecommunic- ation tower at Moffat Beach within 400 metres of 22ha of residential homes.

A crowd of more than 200 people on Wednes- day afternoon made it clear to Sunshine Coast Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer and council planners they were furious they had not been consulted before an approval was granted.

And they questioned how that approval was granted on the basis of 'performance outcomes' that were at complete odds with the 'acceptable outcomes' outlined in the 2014 Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.

The Say No To Moffat Beach Tower group would now take the campaign directly to Telstra which spokesperson Steve Welsh said appeared in breach of the Communication Alliance Limited's Mobile Phone Base State Deployment Industry Code.

The group will also meet early in the new year with Caloundra MP Mark McArdle and Fisher Federal Member Andrew Wallace in a bid to force the telco to back away from the plan.

Telstra's application for the development was deemed code assessable by the council, meaning it wasn't advertised for public submission, with residents claiming it was only by chance they became aware of what was being planned.

Cr Dwyer defended the council planners' approval based on performance outcomes saying they had done so guided by the state planning act even though the council's own planning scheme required mobile phone towers be built no closer than 400m from residential homes.

Sally Collins, of Caloundra West, who with her partner recently purchased a Bryce St property they intend to fully renovate as their retirement home, said she had done all the necessary searches and had not considered a 32 metre mobile phone tower as a possibility so close to their property given the planning scheme provisions.

"If we had known about the tower we would have looked over the other side further away or out of the area," she said.

"We particularly chose where we have bought because it is so quiet and tucked away."

Mrs Collins said her lawyers said they had not looked for a telco tower because they were normally located on the tops of hills or high ground away from housing. …

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