Iluka phone tower may not go ahead

AN OPTUS phone tower planned for Henry Searle Drive in Iluka now seems unlikely to proceed.

Yesterday, Clarence Valley Council's Environment, Economic and Community Committee followed staff recommendations and rejected the Optus proposal.

The committee agreed that the application should be rejected because the site was too close to residential areas; it would impact on the surrounding environment; and the Iluka community did not want it.

Just two hours before the meeting, Iluka residents met with councillors and representatives of Optus and Daly International at the proposed tower site.

There the Optus representatives and councillors listened to residents' concerns about possible adverse health consequences stemming from the tower.

One of those residents, Janelle Richards - wife of Iluka's only doctor, David Richards - went to the meeting to voice her worries.

Mrs Richards is due to give birth to her second child today and said she and her husband were planning on building a house near the site.

However, Mrs Richards said those plans were on hold pending the outcome of Council's decision.

“If my baby gets leukaemia, how are we going to know it wasn't because of this tower," she said.

“David (Dr Richards) is not someone who likes to be in the spotlight; but he says that as a doctor he would not be doing his best if he didn't talk about this issue.

“He wants people to have the knowledge to make an informed decision.”

Sue Murray and her partner own a sign-writing business next to the proposed phone tower site.

She said she was extremely concerned about living and working next to the tower.

“The evidence is inconclusive but there is enough evidence to show we need to exercise caution,” she said.

Councillors will decide the issue at a full council meeting in Maclean next Tuesday.

“David is not someone who likes to be in the spotlight. ”



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