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Local government wants decisive role in phone towers

At today's hearing into Tasmanian Senator Bob Brown's bill to improve community consultation into towers built by telecommunications carriers, the Local Government Association's Adrian Beresford-Wylie said local government wanted the right to accept or reject proposals.

"The distress caused by towers being foisted on communities with little notice will not be met by the new code of practice the industry now proposes," Senator Brown said.

"Industry representatives told the Senate committee they did not want the new code made into law. The Australian Mobile Communications Association's CEO Chris Althaus said my bill would cost industry $2.1 billion but was unable to say what the industry's alternative, its own code, would cost."

Senator Brown asked Mr Althaus if the industry was trying to "swan" the committee.

There are 18,000 transmission facilities around Australia and the number is growing rapidly. Community concerns include electromagnetic radiation, scenic impact and lack of time for local people to object to new towers. There appeared to be strong community backing, including from local government, for Senator Brown's bill which will be debated in the Senate in coming months.

 

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