Uproar over mobile works

18 Sep 2018 • Progress Leader, Melbourne (General News)
by Anthony Piovesan

Anger at TPG plan for antennas on heritage street in Hawthorn Hawthorn residents say they are shocked by a TPG plan to stick up antennas and other mobile infrastructure on a street covered by heritage overlay.

Australia’s second largest internet service provider plans to install radio communications facilities on an existing power pole at 5 Camden Rd, Hawthorn, consisting of two antennas and radio remote units.

Camden Rd homeowner Kata Acciarresi said she and other residents received a generic letter about July 23 which outlined the proposal to install mobile phone infrastructure in their street.

But the letter was dated June 19.

“We were advised that we could submit comments by July 20, with a response being posted online by July 24 and works due to begin in July or August,” Ms Acciarresi said.

“But we received the letter past that deadline.”

Ms Acciarresi said they feared the effects of electromagnetic energy levels and said the works would detract from the heritage overlay in the area.

A Radio Frequency National Site Archive map showed other proposed TPG towers were located along or near main roads instead of in residential streets.

“Our comments and concerns to TPG keep falling on deaf ears,” Ms Acciarresi said.

“The prospect of this mobile phone infrastructure being installed over our heads has shocked us, to say the least.

“With other viable options in the area, we are at a loss to understand why TPG is pursuing a location directly in front of households raising young families.”

Hawthorn state Liberal MP John Pesutto said he was “absolutely dismayed” that TPG would go ahead with the works without properly consulting residents.

“I am working with residents to make sure that TPG starts showing them the respect and attention they deserve,” he said.

“We will not be silenced on this issue and we’ll continue to fight to have these installations relocated to more appropriate spots.”

Boroondara Council acting director of city planning Carolyn McClean said TPG works were exempt from needing the council’s permission.

But she said the council had requested TPG consider another location.

Last month the Leader reported TPG scrapped plans for two mobile base stations in residential streets at Malvern East and Glen Iris after fierce community backlash.

TPG did not respond to the Leader’s request for comment.

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