Tower voted down

Tower voted down

Councillor Margaret Hall at Parkwood's Hossack Park, where the council recently voted down a proposal to develop a Vodafone mobile tower following public uproar. Photograph - Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

A Vodafone mobile communications tower will not be built on Parkwood’s Hossack Park after the City of Canning council voted down the proposal.

At the July 18 meeting council voted against the motion following vocal public opposition.

The 30-metre tower would have replaced an existing 25-metre light post and would have been 170 metres from the closest homes.

Residents approached council and the media in the days before the vote and voiced their opposition, complaining about the tower’s visual impact and that it would be better suited at an alternative site.

Residents had proposed the tower be moved to the nearby Whaleback Golf Course where there is an existing mobile tower, but in a deputation to council a Vodafone representative said the company believed Hossack Reserve was the best place for its customers.

“Whaleback was immediately discounted because of its proximity to Vodafone’s existing Thornlie facility,” he said.

“There is no alternative commercial or industrial areas in the vicinity.”

The representative said developing onto an existing tower at the golf course was also impractical because Telstra already occupied it and to drop to the next highest point on the tower would compromise coverage.

Councillor David Brown said it was unfortunate residents had become upset about the issue but mobile communication had become a necessity of modern life.

“New infrastructure is going to be required,” he said.

“There are a number of other structures on the skyline there and in my opinion the change in visual enjoyment will not be pronounced.”

Councillor Ben Kunze also supported development and said there was a need to build infrastructure in the area.

“There are massive issues with ADSL connections in the area,” he said.

“It’s a necessity of life that we have communications infrastructure and it’s a necessity if we want to have good, reliable broadband.”

Mr Kunze said he had been a Vodafone customer but had left the provider because of its poor service.

Councilor Jesse Jacobs opposed development because of the amount of public opposition he had heard.

“It matters to me because it matters to residents,” he said.

“If they don’t want it I need to, as an elected member of council, take it into account their best wishes.”

Councillor Pauline Tarrant who said she had spoken to experts on the topic said she had not seen sufficient evidence to build the tower on Hossack Park.

The council voted 6-5 against the proposal, saying the visual impact would be too great and that Vodafone’s investigation of other sites had not been thorough enough.

Councillors Pauline Tarrant, Tim Porter, Ayse Martli, Jesse Jacobs, Lindsay Holland and mayor Paul Ng voted against the development.