On Wednesday October 4 Newbridge resident Sharni Latham was surprised to find a pair of workers installing an antenna on top of the Telstra telephone exchange located within her property on Trunkey St, Newbridge.
Not because the Visionstream contractors were there at all, more that she, nor anyone else in the village, knew anything at all about it.
Located on a corner of a block of land that Ms Latham leases to Telstra, her biggest concern is the radiation that the antenna will emit considering that it’s right in the centre of the village, and only three metres from her proposed home development.
“None of the neighbours, or anybody at Sunday’s village meeting, received any letters at all from VisionStream even though Blayney council has shown us all the information that they received about work being done,” she said.
Ms Latham said that she has has had a development application passed to construct a house right next door to the exchange and the possible effects of the tower are of greatest concern.
“Our children’s bedroom will literally be only three metres from the tower so we will be opposing it on health and safety grounds primarily.
“Although they will say it’s low-impact, the research just isn’t out there about the long term effect in 20 years time.”
Ms Latham said that even the industry code stated that installations take a precautionary approach.
“There are health risks associated with them and there are links with them causing cancer and all sorts of things, so I don’t believe that this is the best site selection available, and it seems that it’s simply the cheapest option for Telstra.”
Currently the tower has been installed but not activated.
Telstra Area General Manager Mike Marom said that Telstra will now undertake further consultation.
“We know how important high-speed mobile coverage is to local communities and businesses.
“We undertook initial consultation with the community which included consulting with the local council, newspaper advertising and letter drops to a number of surrounding residents.
“We have received a small number of objections during the construction process and as a result Telstra will undertake additional consultation with the community about the proposal to install a small cell on the exchange in Newbridge.”