Alderman Philip Cocker yesterday called for Optus and its representative AURECON to show some respect to the Sandy Bay community and to respect the legislation which they are subject to.

Optus is proposing a cluster of mobile phone transmitters that will loom more than 20 metres above street level in the Sandy Bay shopping precinct.

Irate local residents have been given short notice about a proposal to build a cluster of mobile phone transmitters atop the Woolworths car park, but already over 120 nearby residents have signed a petition protesting the proposal.

A community action group has been formed, concerned about the development and the possibility that Optus might avoid proper process.

Alderman Philip Cocker described the community consultation as very poor, with large numbers of residents only a few hundred metres from the proposed development being ignored, as well as the users of the area.

Alderman Cocker asked, ‘Where is the development application to Council and Heritage Tasmania for a proposal that will affect the important heritage area of Gregory Street and impact many surrounding heritage properties?’

‘I think the community action group formed to fight this development is worried that Optus might try and get around proper process by tagging the development as an extension to an existing lightpole. In reality the development will be entirely new and impact not just the local residents and businesses, but nearby Albuera St and Princes St Primary Schools, student housing developments and numerous tourist accommodation facilities,’ Alderman Cocker said.

Alderman Cocker said that Hobart City Council has been discussing the issue of electromagnetic radiation from similar types of installations around the city and it is concerning many of the Aldermen. Given the World Health Organisation updated release on their cancer risk rating for mobile phone radiation, it’s a real concern for local residents, workers in the many businesses and restaurants, and the regular shoppers who visit the area.

On 13 June the Hobart City Council will consider a petition from over 120 local residents who have urged councillors to reject the proposed development.

On Saturday, the 11th June the community action group will be holding a protest action outside Woolworths Sandy Bay at 11:00am.