City approves controversial telephone tower in Herron

Upset locals: Residents of Herron and Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup at the proposed site south of Dawesville. They are urging locals to write to the City of Mandurah to oppose a proposed mobile tower. Photo: Supplied.RELATED: Locals take a stand over Herron mobile tower proposal.
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The controversial Herron telecommunications tower proposal that angeredlocalresidents in Decemberwas given the go-ahead at the council meeting on Tuesday night.

The 70-metre-tall galvanished steel structure will be installed in anAmar Road site, which already has an elevation of 66 metres, and will substitute a decommissioned toweron Mt John Road.

It is expected the tower would improve telecommunication services in the Herron area for both residents and emergency services.

During the council meeting on Tuesday,Herron resident Jenny Rose and Liberal member for Dawesville Zak Kirkup voiced their concerns about the proposal, which they believed would affect the amenity of the area and threaten the nativewildlife.

According to Mr Kirkup, the tower, which will be visible from both Lake Clifton and the Harvey Inlet,is ‘disproportionatelytall’and its visual impact wasn’t correctly assessed.

Ms Rose said Herronwas a really residential community, with people moving into the area because of its rural setting, and she feared the new tower would impact the area’s peaceful character.

However, a spokesman from proponent Axicom said visibility would be reduced due to the dense vegetation and tree canopy of the area, and hesaid the public benefit of the tower outweighed its visual impact.

Several City of Mandurah councillors, including Lynn Rogers andCaroline Knight, spoke about the council’s lack of decision power over telecommunications infrastructure, and said rejecting the proposal could mean the State Administration Tribunal (SAT) could still approve it.

Councillor Jane Field welcomed the proposal and highlighted the need for better telephone coverage in the area, especiallyin the case of an emergency.

She reminded attendees of the Waroona and Yarloop fires on January last year, when Lake Clifton residents didn’t receive text messages to evacuate their homes.

Any clearing of vegetation would require the City’s approval prior to the works.

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