Tasmanian Times


Show some respect for the community

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.

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  1. Violet

    June 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    #13 “Are you pulling my todger”????

    Good god man! Now i’ve lost my breakfast.

    I may be forced to sue TT for the trauma inflicted by the image of COCKER pulling LOWES todger!!!

    Please put your todger back where you found it Mr Lowe.

  2. Philip Lowe

    June 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Philip Cocker,are you pulling my todger?”The Council has taken steps to be better informed”.
    You should have been at the meeting in the Scouts Hall when Rob Valentine was telling everybody that it was tough luck and that phone tower was going up like it or not.Where was your concern then,you and your Green mates who voted for it?It was a schonky deal and you were part of it.If you didn’t know what was going on then you weren’t listening mate.You Greens are just another bunch of political greasy pole climbers.

  3. sam

    June 11, 2011 at 4:01 am

    #4. I see in Germany there have been close to 33 deaths and 500 people in hospital through eating cucumbers from a “certified organic farm”. And how many deaths have been caused by Dioxin poison in this state Karl? Another scare vs the reality on this crazy web site. By the way, love the biff between Crocker and Karl. One extremist vs scaremonger, and I dont know which one is which, but good stuff.

  4. Karl Stevens

    June 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Philip Cocker 9. I have taken every possible opportunity to question those involved. I have even done ‘citizens reports’ for TT on just that. After 1 year I’m still waiting for Nick McKim to tell me who paid the Tasmanian charities that acted as consultants for the government in the ‘forest peace talks’. Imagine if a charity stepped-in to your dispute with Optus and signed an agreement with both federal and state governments locking-in mobile phone towers to Sandy Bay, even if Optus should go into liquidation? Imagine if they traded phone towers at Sandy Bay in return for say ADSL on Flinders Island? Imagine if they never answered their phones? Imagine if they claimed to represent other groups but on investigation it was found those groups didn’t exist or were just shelf groups? This is why that person was singled out. Its because most groups in his organisation have left.

    This is why I have the sad honor of being the first person in Australia to lodge a complaint with an integrity or a corruption commission over the conduct of a Greens minister.

  5. sam

    June 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    didnt hear crocker complaining of the towers above the republic bar ?
    Only 100m down the road from me. Just another case of crocker jumping on the bandwagon and seen to be doing something..anything.

  6. Philip Cocker

    June 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    In answer to Philip#1 since Sandown the council has taken a number of steps to be better informed on this issue.It is still difficult to feel that there is consistent definitive advice available although I do think the precautionary principle is appropriate. In relation to Karl Stevens #4 I objected to your denigration of a person and the distribution of that denigration through an email list sent to people interested in social and environmental issues.I am happy to see questioning of people in leadership positions but I won’t support personal attacks.

  7. Local resident

    June 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Re NIMBY: no-one’s against mobile phones or saying “not in our backyard” – clearly we need them, but there are plenty of towers out there already that could be built upon saving the building/impact of another tower (and a large one at that) – given the jury’s still out on the medical impact, let’s be prudent.

    Having seen the plan, this is a 15.8 m, three panel tower so “low-impact” doesn’t really wash….

  8. A planner

    June 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Alderman Cocker clearly has little understanding of the legislation that Optus and their representatives are required to comply with. Under the Telecommunications (Low Impact) Determination, a low impact facility may be installed via a process of consultation a public consultation and notification, and nothing more.
    Provided the facility meets the quantitative standards outlined in the determination, and is not:

    a tower that is not attached to a building
    a tower attached to a building and more than 5 metres high
    an extension to a tower that has previously been extended
    an extension to a tower, if the extension is more than 5 metres

    Such facilities can be considered as low impact and do not require approval from the local Council or Tasmania Heritage Council.

    For those interested in the low impact determination follow this link,

    It may be worth checking the proposal against the low impact determination.

  9. Local resident

    June 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    These sorts of developments can only go in without planning permission if they are “low impact” – telcos can’t and shouldn’t just shove them up anywhere they like, to borrow Philip’s words.

    It seems like these companies might be making out to councils their developments are “low impact” when they might not be – councils need to call the telcos on this and take back control of their planning!

    I think it’s really positive that Alderman Cocker is taking this issue seriously.

  10. Dave

    June 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’ll lay odds that not one of concerned local residents have or are about to throw away their mobile phones. This is just another example of middle class NIMBYism not one of whom would worry a jot or sign a petition if the towers were in Glenorchy or Rokeby.

  11. Karl Stevens

    June 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Alderman Cocker defended the environmentalists who agreed to the dioxin poisoning of a Tasmanian fishery only this week. Does this mean Hobart City Council now has its own ‘NIMBY’? Your concerns over cancer Alderman Cocker is identical to my concern over Green-supported environmentalists trying to increase Tasmania’s already astronomical cancer rate by agreeing to dump dioxin into Bass Strait.
    In my view Alderman Cocker should take some time out from the heady Greens cocktail circuit and think about moral values, hypocrisy and integrity.

  12. salamander

    June 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    At least Cocker is following the council’s resolution after they couldn’t influence the decision at Sandown: “It was resolved that Council will pay more rigorous attention to applications for similar towers in the future” … “whether the proposal relates to Council land, as in this (the Sandown Park) case, or not.”

  13. Simon D

    June 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    This ‘action group’ visited me twice to seek support for their cause. When I asked them what are the dangers of living near a mobile phone tower the couldn’t tell me. When I asked about studies that showed the dangers so I could look into it myself, they said ‘there was one in Tel Aviv and somewhere in Europe’ but couldn’t give any specifics. They also said the WHO report had found them to be dangerous, but as far as I can tell, it actually said the opposite and told us to worry about our phones instead. If they are really serious about the dangers of this development, I suggest they get their shit together, pretty bloody quickly. If anyone on here has the information this group is lacking, I’d be very interested. Cheers

  14. Philip Lowe

    June 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Alderman Cocker,why such concern now?When the aldermen were voting unanimously for the mobile phone tower at Sandown Park you never said a peep then,and neither did any other of our so called elected representatives.The deal that was done at Sandown Park was schonky.I have been TOLD by aldermen that I made enquiries with,that Telstra can shove those masts up anywhere they like,painful though it might prove to be.The sham of going through a democratic process is exactly that,a sham.Green posing does not become you.What is the difference between Telstra and Optus mobile phone towers?

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