Planning minister calls for undue mobile tower restrictions to be relaxed
|WA Planning Minister John Day
In response to concerns about the siting of network towers raised by the Member for Kwinana in Parliament, WA Planning Minister and Member for Kalamunda, John Day said the State government had plans to review the state’s planning policy for telecommunications facilities.
“I certainly hope that will occur this year because situations arise in local government planning schemes whereby undue restrictions are placed on where these facilities can be located,” Mr Day said.
“They do not reflect contemporary requirements and they are not based on any real scientific analysis at all.”
Minister Day said there had been recent community opposition to base stations in the City of Mandurah south of Perth, which included concerns about possible health risks.
“They were expressing opposition to the location of a telecommunications tower because of health risk concerns and so on,” Minister Day said.
“I face that issue in my own electorate as well. However, the reality is that the electromagnetic emissions from these facilities are generally one per cent or less than the maximum permissible level as determined by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority.”
“It is certainly the case that more and more people are using mobile phone coverage, given that smart phones have a greater need for the amount of coverage provided, as well as iPads, tablets and so on.
“The growth in that area has really been exponential in recent years and it is putting pressure on telecommunications companies to provide more of these facilities.”
“It is acknowledged that there is a need for more of these facilities. That is reflected in the fact that the Department of Planning will be undertaking a review of the state planning policy on telecommunications facilities.”
The Mobile Carriers forum recently made a submission to the WA Planning Commission as part of their wide ranging planning review “Planning Makes it Happen”, calling for a more efficient mechanism for determining mobile network infrastructure development applications.