A proposal to upgrade an existing Telstra tower to 5G in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate has sparked strong resistance from two early childhood learning centres, located within close proximity.
Public submissions close October 15 for the proposal, which is located at 8 Acacia Street. Submissions can be made via email: [email protected] or by phone: 0437 600 895.
A rally is already planned for October 13 from 11am, with further details to be confimed.
Attempts by Telstra to install a 5G tower in Mullumbimby saw an organised and passionate resistance from those unconvinced of the safety claims regarding electro magnetic radiation (EMR), and other 5G factors.
Activit Sherrie Yeomans told The Echo the vigil at the Mullum tower has now been going, day and night, for nearly six months.
Proposed within 500m
While the Byron Bay proposal is within a 500m radius of two early childhood learning centres, the proponent claims no DA is required from Council.
Busy Kids childcare centre manager Krissy Martin told The Echo she and staff have made objections to the tower. She said if approved, it would be just 250m away from the daycare centre.
‘There’s not enough longitudinal studies on the effects on children and adults’, she said, adding that, ‘NSW policy recommends that they be at least 500m away from schools’.
She says she was alerted to the proposal by an email from construction company, the Downer Group, on September 28.
But the director of Periwinkle Preschool, which is also located within 500m of the proposal, told The Echo the school did not receive any notification from Telstra or its consultants, Downer Group.
Director Simon McLean said, ‘Several years ago, the preschool made a conscious decision to only use a hardwired ethernet connection, and does not use Wi-Fi at all. This is in order to reduce the potential for harm caused by electromagnetic radiation to anyone attending the preschool’.
Mr McLean added, ‘I have sent in a submission to Council, Matthew Wood and Downer Group objecting on behalf of the preschool, and have notified all of our parents and staff about the proposal, so that any concerned parents can send objections’.
‘Several have already replied to me, and are keen to voice concerns. We are a community non-profit preschool run by a parent management committee, and our current president is also fully behind the preschool taking a stand against this proposed upgrade’.
Local parent Emma Baker said, in her submission against the tower upgrade, ‘Your constant disregard for policies that are put in place to protect children is shameful’.
Ms Baker has called for an extension of public submissions until November 30.
The Echo is yet to hear back from the Downer Group as to whether the extension has been granted.
Short consultation time
She says in her objection, ‘I find it unacceptable that you have opened up the above ‘upgrade’ and ‘community consultation’ period right within the two weeks of NSW school holidays. The NSW public