Geelong Church at centre of mobile tower dispute

Local residents in the Victorian Geelong suburb of Leopold are up in arms over plans to build a Telstra mobile phone tower near Lumen Christi Catholic Church in the town.

Geelong Info reports that a group of local residents have joined together to fight plans to build a mobile phone tower near the church in Leopold.

The residents were notified of the proposal earlier this month and have gathered a petition with more than 50 signatures.

According to Geelong Info, the planned tower is classified as low impact so Telstra is not required to seek a council planning permit. However, the company is bound by law to engage in community consultation.

Jeannie Kelley is one of the residents against the proposal but said her reasons for fighting the proposal were different from most.

"Personally, I don't think the church should be involved in strengthening mobile phone signals," Mrs Kelley said.

"They should not be condoning the sort of things you can pass through mobile phones these days like graphic videos and pornography."

Resident, Craig Brown, told Geelong Info that locals had not been properly informed by Telstra.

"They have notified about 60 residents which is nowhere near the number of residents who will be affected by the spread of radiation," he said.

"We've done some research and the early studies have shown that the radiation spreads up to 300m around the antennas, which would mean far more than 60 residents will be affected."

"The basic issue is that we should be trying to minimise exposure to radiation and that the tower should not be built in a community-sensitive area."

Mobile church tower (Geelong Info, 28/9/06)

29 Sep 2006