||What did the Action Group hope to achieve in Bardon?
The Rainworth / Bardon Community Action Group have always had two goals in mind:
1. Prevent the installation at 27 Gerler Street Bardon
2. Seek a change to current legislation to prevent any telco tower installation near schools.
||Don't you know you'll never win? Telstra is a big company.
It was described as a David and Goliath battle. The odds were against us, but should we really just sit back and let this happen?
Once the installation is in place we will be living with it for a very long time - watching helplessly as the facility becomes more and more powerful - wondering what kind of health implications we will discover in years to come.
We just don't want our families, and especially our children, to be a part of this health experiment.
||How far would the radiation from the tower extend?
After initially claiming that there would be zero radiation beyond 200 metres, Telstra has now advised that radiation will extend to 500 metres.
||Don't mobile phones have higher levels of radiation than the proposed facility?
Yes they do. However emissions from mobile phones are periodic. The proposed base station will emit radiation over the school and community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
||Isn't the existing tower closer to the school? Shouldn't you be happy that its moving further away?
Yes the existing tower in Main Avenue Bardon was closer to the school than the proposed installation in Gerler Street.
The existing tower was erected over 15 years ago without the school's knowledge and prior to the existing legislation requiring community consultation.
The existing tower will be decommissioned because Telstra's lease has expired and the land owners are planning to redevelop. This is our chance to move the tower away from the school for good.
The new facility will also be much more powerful than the existing tower.
||Would the new facility in Gerler Street have been more powerful than the existing tower in Main Avenue?
Yes. The new facility would have been 22 times more powerful than the existing one - and would only get more powerful in the future.
Source: Radio Frequency National Site Archive (RFNSA) website contains an archive of mobile phone base station details including the estimated maximum cumulative radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME) levels at ground level.
> See the EME report for Main Ave Bardon
> See the EME report for 27 Gerler Street Bardon
||Could Telstra increase the power from this facility?
Yes. At any time.
||Could more aerials be added to the Gerler Street facility in the future, further increasing EMR levels at the school?
Yes. Telstra had earmarked three for the Gerler Street site in the near future. They can install more later on if they like.
||Will Telstra monitor our children's health?
||How can they do this if it is so dangerous?
Well there is no conclusive proof either way. There are no longitudinal studies showing that 3G or Next G EMR emissions, (substantially higher than 2G technology), are safe for humans.
Australia's permitted levels of EMR are presently hundreds of times greater than are permitted in many countries worldwide. Many countries have adopted the precautionary approach.
The precautionary approach is detailed in Appendix A of this document:
“In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach should be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious
or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”
The report lists one of the "Anticipated Costs to Industry" as "Implementation of a Precautionary Approach will increase cost to industry".
So while the code aims to "encouraging all participants" to comply, if decision makers are more concerned with profits than people, then it will never happen.
||Isn't Bardon at the bottom of Mt Coot-tha with all the TV antennas on the top? Why don't you complain about that?
Yes here in Bardon we do live in the shadow of the TV towers - a completely different type of EMR/wave. Waves from the likes of TV antennae and 2-way radios are non-pulsed EMR whereas 3G mobile phone waves are more complex pulsed waves. (see our What is EMR page).
It is true though, that this is perhaps even more of a reason not to subject our children to any additional EMR.
||Your protest has been so well organised. Did you get professional activists to help you?
No. While it is very flattering of Telstra to mention our organisational skills (see news article), we are just regular people, who have seen enough scientific and anecdotal evidence to be very very worried about living near a facility such as this.
Hundreds of people attended the community meetings and a great many of us had never met before. We have discovered a fantastic pool of talented people in our midst and we are utilising all the voluntary help that has been offered. We have come together to listen and offer support for the sake of our children.