New phone tower to meet demand at Burpengary

Published 12:00pm 5 June 2022

New phone tower to meet demand at Burpengary
Words by Jodie Powell

A new telecommunications tower will be built on private property at Burpengary.

Moreton Bay Regional Council approved an application to build the 30m monopole at this week’s Council meeting, with Development Services Manager Dan Staley saying it was an allowable use for a rural residential area.

He said the tower, to be built at 14-16 Landau Court, was needed to meet growing demand for services.

Cr Mick Gillam (Div 8) said while the area was mostly acreage, it would likely become more urbanised over time, and the tower would help meet the needs of residents.

Resident concerns

Landau Court resident Kerry Chicken, who owns the property next to the site, told the Council meeting she believed the tower would have a significant impact on the value of nearby properties.

“Unlike the family (who own the property on which the tower would be built), I will not be compensated for my losses – they are the only ones who are going to financially gain from the construction (because telecommunications providers pay an annual lease),” Ms Chicken said.

“I don’t want to walk out my back door staring at this monstrosity of a structure.

“The serenity and vibe that comes with living in a rural residential area will be negatively impacted.”

Ms Chicken also raised concerns about the long-term health implications of radiation emitted by a telecommunications tower close by.

Meeting guidelines

However Mr Staley said emissions would fall within parameters deemed acceptable by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which adopted the standards of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

ARPANSA has developed procedures for measuring electromagnetic energy levels.

Cr Karl Winchester asked whether it would be possible to better plan where telecommunications towers were located, to ensure they were built on the most suitable sites.

“These sites are developed ad hoc by the proponents, there’s no regulatory body or authority or scope within Council to try and forward plan and map out where demand is going to be and where optimal sites would be in the future?,” he said.

Chief executive officer Greg Chemello said evolving technology made forward planning difficult.

“It is, I think, impossible to strategically plan for telecommunications across the region forever because of the changing technology,” he said.

“If you look at the strategic plan that Telstra would have had with 3G, it’s very different from the 4G layout and the 5G layout.

“It’s the technological changes that drive the location of these towers.”

The tower and associated equipment shelter will be painted to blend with adjacent bushland vegetation, while landscaping will include a screen buffer along the south, west and east of the compound.

Read more local news here.

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