Branyan phone tower worries

A CLEAR view out to the horizon is something Branyan resident Nick Venters has always appreciated.

But that view is soon to be obscured, with a 51.5m telecommunications tower on the cards about 400m away from his Childers Road property.

In mid August, Optus received development approval from Bundaberg Regional Council for the tower, which is to be built on a private property on Nicholl Road.

“I don't know whether they are beautiful or not. If you pay rates as a rural residential resident you shouldn't have to put up with a great big industrial eyesore,” Mr Venters said.

The tower is set to be placed on privately owned land - something Mr Venters does not agree with.

“No other landholders in the area were approached about how they felt about it,” he said.

“I think that if it was on government-owned land it is much better and we would have been able to have our opinions heard more rather than these private deals.”

Mr Venters first heard about the tower when he received a letter from Aurecon, who are handling the installation of the structure for Optus.

The retired farmer said he had heard that the towers could cause health problems, but had been reassured by information provided by Aurecon.

“We're just taking it for granted that there are going to be no ill health affects,” he said.

The tower will feature a monopole antenna with six panel antennas, six antennas for Telstra's future use, two radio communication dishes and four parabolic antennas.

An Optus spokesperson said the new monopole antenna was a part of the company's expansion of its dual mobile network around the country.

“This is part of a broader expansion in the Bundaberg area, where we are looking to build a number of facilities over the coming 12 months and improve mobile and mobile broadband coverage to the local area,” he said.

“Optus is excited to bring improved coverage to our customers in the region and we are continually looking at ways we can increase choice and bring high quality services to our customers.”

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