Lennox Head residents are protesting plans by Optus to build a mobile communication tower near the water tower. Pictured, front from left, Bailey Fraser, 5, Calinda Coombes holding two-year-old Pearl Worthington, Peta Grew with two-year-old daughter Tasman Grew-Jones and Duke Syne, 4, along with concerned residents.
Lennox Head residents are protesting plans by Optus to build a mobile communication tower near the water tower. Pictured, front from left, Bailey Fraser, 5, Calinda Coombes holding two-year-old Pearl Worthington, Peta Grew with two-year-old daughter Tasman Grew-Jones and Duke Syne, 4, along with concerned residents.

Community outraged at Optus

WITHOUT being consulted or given a chance to object, an Optus telecommunications base is going to be built less than six metres from Rob Godwin's bedroom in Basalt Court, Lennox Head.

Mr Godwin has lived there for 10 years and, like many of his neighbours, is furious with Optus for ‘forcing' the facility.

The tower will be built on top of a water reservoir in the street and includes six panel antennas, a maintenance shelter and a parabolic antenna.

It is not just the visual impact of the telecommunications base that has residents worried. They are also concerned the facility will have negative health effects.

“These bases emit electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which has an effect over a distance of 3km,” Mr Godwin said. “They have been linked to an increased incidence of breast cancer, miscarriage, cardiac diseases, childhood brain tumours and leukemia.”

Many young families live in the area and parents believe the tower will cause problems with the health of their children.

“I am worried about the effect this will have on my children,” Peta Grew said. “I've got a three-month-old and a two-year-old, so it is a concern for me.”

While Optus says it will take ‘comments into consideration before making a decision about the proposal', it has pointed out it does not require development consent or approval from Ballina Shire Council to erect the tower.

Optus last night said it was investigating questions put to it by The Northern Star. A spokesman said a response would be provided to the paper on Tuesday morning.

Submissions on the proposal must be received by October 12.



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