Mums fear cancer threat
THEIR beautiful, elevated location could soon be marred by a 30-metre mobile phone tower and Gympie mothers Lisa Finney and Amanda Lovell are livid.
They’re concerned about the health risks for their children, despite assurances by Telstra literature that the radiation emitted by the structure is “within Australian standards”.
“That is not reassuring,” Mrs Finney said. “There are many hills around this area, why has Telstra picked Jones Hill?”
Another Corbet Road resident Amanda Lovell pointed out that it is very much a family-oriented road with children playing outside or walking to the nearby shop or school.
Mrs Lovell said she realises the towers are needed but can’t understand why Telstra would choose a location in the middle of family homes.
“You have to have these poles but they have to be put in a place that’s safe,” she said.
“The fact that there is a road leading directly to the site and that there is also electricity available may have something to do with it. It will be cheap to put it there... (but) is any risk to our children’s health worth it?”
A petition against the installation of the tower is gaining support.
Mrs Finney said because the scientific debate is still continuing about the dangers of mobile phones, she won’t even let her children put a mobile phone anywhere near their head.
“Why run the risk?” she said.
“They say don’t worry it’s within Australian standards but what about the mothers who were sold thalidomide, or the workers who were told asbestos posed no health risks?”
Research, including a study in the International Journal of Cancer Prevention, found the cancer risk was up to 8.5 times higher than average around towers.
The Leukaemia Foundation said towers should be “prudently avoided”, while NSW Education Department’s policy “prefers” a 500m gap between schools and towers.
“We will get the most radiation here,” Mrs Finney said of the home that has been in her family for more than 60 years. And while the Finneys are planning to move, their new home will also be in “the firing line”.
Her parents want to move back to their old home but Mrs Finney said she would be reluctant to allow her children to stay with their grandparents if the tower was installed.
“They say ‘don’t worry’ but over time and at certain levels it will cook your cells,” she said.
The site, owned by the State Government, is only about 10m from the Jones Hill Reservoir.
Gympie Regional Council is yet to receive a development application for the tower and Mayor Ron Dyne said community consultation would take place once the application was received.
Petitions have been left at Bank of Queensland, Betta Electrical, Toy World, the Jones Hill shop and Party World.