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Beaconsfield Action Group

Perth, Western Australia

Hi. This is our story. A local resident was annoyed with the local council about a building height issue and he has been protesting for the past 12 years or more about this issue. His house is covered in protest graffiti and flags and he is constantly in the media moaning about one thing or another. A couple of years ago, he signed a contract with One Tel (Lucent) and during the school holidays a mobile phone tower appeared on his roof. Locals protested and got a petition together but before long, One Tel went bust.

Near the end of last year the transmitter was removed. Everybody thought the issue was well and truly dead. But then along came Hutchison and in March they re-installed and upgraded the tower to a 3G mast without, of course, telling anyone.

It took a lot of investigation to find out it was Hutchison who owned the tower: the ACA couldn't tell me, nor could the local council, nor anyone else.  When I phoned Orange, they said they didn't have a mobile network in Western Australia so it couldn't be theirs.  Eventually we asked Hutchison WA's community relation's man Paul Pearson and he said it was a Hutchison Orange tower (Of course, the tower is really meant for the new "3" phone company but Hutchison WA has successfully had community groups all over Perth protesting about Orange and creating bad publicity for Orange when in fact it's really "3" that will be launched here in Perth).

We only formally formed an action group at the beginning of June and we have been delivering flyers, writing the usual letters to those concerned and getting the usual responses ("EMR is perfectly SAFE" or from Hutchison national community relations person Jaqueline Crompton "a mobile phone network is just like a sprinkler system on a football oval"), lobbying the local council and P & C committee, and now we are producing bumper stickers.  This has been very difficult to go on with as I am 40 weeks pregnant and this is the last thing I want to be doing right now but if we don't object now, it will be too late.

We cannot believe that a local resident is allowed to have a mobile phone mast on top of his roof when it is 10 m to the closest house, 200m to nearest school, day-care centre, and 60m from a retirement village.  We cannot believe how the government supports this and how our local community has no rights at all in relation to this issue.

Our Mayor and Council have voted to give Mr ter Horst 14 days to remove the tower. If he does not comply, Council will be taking legal action against Hutchison. Another group in the Perth suburb of Nedlands are doing the same about an Optus tower. Hopefully concerned citizens in other places around Australia will stand up and say enough is enough. The big telecos have the extraordinary power to do as they please and ride roughshod over our local communities. They are finally being held to account for their actions.

We have had wonderful support from local residents, parents from the local school, and our local council and mayor.

We expect this battle to take a long long time.

Our best wishes to the Oatley Park Defenders in their fight.
on behalf of Beaconsfield Action Group

Email >> beaconsfieldactiongroup@bigpond.com



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