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Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Page: 10065

Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan) (13:51): Technology is an important part of today's society, but it is essential that technology is delivered correctly with the best outcome for all stakeholders. Mobile communication represents one of the fastest-growing areas of demand. However, while mobile communication has improved and advanced over the years, the same cannot be said of its associated infrastructure. Twenty years on, communities are still confronted by the visual pollution of large, ugly telco towers dominating the local landscape. Unless compelled, companies will invariably always opt for the cheapest and easiest method of construction. So with the absence of self-imposed improvement by the industry, maybe it is time that pressure was applied. The latest manifestation of this visual pollution is the proposed Optus installation at Brookfield in my electorate of Ryan. Now the residents of Brookfield are undoubtedly enthusiastic users of mobile communications and indeed expect efficient and effective coverage. However, what the residents of Brookfield object to is the high-handed, non-inclusive approach taken by Aurecon. What the residents of Brookfield object to is the abbreviated and limited consultation with the local community. Indeed, my office was given only one week to respond. What the residents of Brookfield object to is the lack of advice and consultation with local institutions, including a neighbouring kindergarten and Kenmore State High School.

What we all object to is the lack of initiative or innovation which would minimise the impact on the local community and environment. I implore Optus and Aurecon to consult more extensively with the community surrounding the proposed site at Brookfield before taking further action on this project and to come to a mutually agreed solution. I also give notice of a petition from local residents against the building of the tower that will be tabled in this place in the near future.