Thurgoona residents slam Optus tower

ANGRY Thurgoona residents have called on Albury Council to stand up for the little guy in their David and Goliath battle with telecommunications giant Optus.

Both parties pleaded their case to councillors last night in their scrap over Optus’ plans to build a 25-metre mobile phone tower on Thurgoona Golf Course.

The company and residents discussed their differences at a public meeting almost two months ago but it soon became clear last night that the standoff was at an icy stalemate.

Should optus be allowed to erect the tower at the Thurgoona Golf Club maintenance sheds? Click here and have your say

The Thurgoona residents, who claim the phone tower is a visual blight that will affect the value of their homes, were last night furious with Optus for refusing to reveal statistics showing a need for the new tower.

For more computer-generated images of what the tower would look like, click here.

But Optus was steadfast, maintaining the tower was needed to provide better service and that the Thurgoona Golf Club site was the best commercial proposition.

The only concession Optus made was to decrease the size of the tower.

Optus site acquisition manager Howard Game revealed a new design in which the tower’s bulky “head frame” on top of the tower was removed.

Cr Neville Hull commended the alteration, adding: “We can’t do away with towers and ... wherever we move (the tower) we’re going to have problems”.

But Thurgoona residents said that was not good enough.

Newton Circuit resident Linda Winterbottom said the angry locals were “not anti-technology” and were willing to discuss alternative sites.

“But despite constant requests, they haven’t even been able to give us a target area so we can talk about it,” Ms Winterbottom said.

“They haven’t shown us any data ... or readings or the complaints they have had (about their coverage).

“So basically what we’ve got is a big telecommunications company that is feeding information as it wants, but not giving that information to the community.

“If Albury Council decides to approve this then shame on them because there’s not enough information for them to be doing that.”

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