Council clears way for Optus 5G land lease

Eve Lamb


Last week’s council decision to lease land at Wesley Hill for an Optus telecommunications tower is likely to enrage locals who fear the tower may pose a health risk and impact property values.
At its December meeting last week the Mount Alexander Shire Council narrowly voted 4:3 in favour of leasing the council land, part of the Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve, to Optus for the controversial telecommunications facility.
Councillor Stephen Gardner spoke in favour of the move stating that it represents a financial benefit to council as lessee of the land, and noting that the facility met with Australian government guidelines.
“The tower meets the Australian code. Towers, microwaves are everywhere. 5G is no different to any other spectrum and I would be happy to have it in my backyard,” Cr Gardner said.
“It is a good deal for council. We get an extra tower paid for and we get the lease. This is about leasing the land to a commercial provider. We need an improved network here and I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t be supporting it.”
However Cr Gary McClure, among three councillors who voted against the move, held reservations around potential and unknown impacts of micro-radiation.
Cr Rosie Annear likewise retained concerns associated with the proposed 5G telecommunications facility. Read more in the Castlemaine Mail…