5G raised as council approves new 25m comms tower

THE contentious issue of 5G technology has been raised by the Toowoomba Regional Council during a discussion on a new 25metre communications tower.

The council approved its own application at a special meeting yesterday for the new concrete monopole structure, which would be built near Perseverance Dam at Crows Nest.

According to the planning report, the tower would be used by the council's parks and recreation branch to improve communications coverage in the area and could also be used to control certain operations at the dam remotely from Toowoomba in the future.

While he wasn't opposed to the project, Cr Bill Cahill asked the TRC's planning and development group if the tower was 5G-capable.

He also asked if the department would provide the council with alerts of future telecommunication proposal that involved 5G.

"Might we have an indication on any future reports of this nature around telecommunications facilities, if they are in fact 5G at any point in the future?" he said.

"That would be of interest to this council.

"As far as the citing of this, I don't see any problems and most likely at the least they've done a desktop study of the transmission levels, hence the position of the tower."

Planning and development general manager Stewart Somers seemed to agree to the request, but noted that the council only had control over the physical structures and not the actual technology.

"The actual technology is controlled completely outside the council," he said.

Telstra has actually already rolled out 5G coverage across the greater Toowoomba area, as well as in Warwick.

However, devices will need to be 5G-capable to take advantage of the network.

The technology has been the subject of community concerns around health, but Australia's chief medical officer Dr Brendan Murphy has said it is absolutely safe.

"I'd like to reassure the community that 5G technology is safe," he said in January.

"There is no evidence telecommunication technologies, such as 5G, cause adverse health impacts."

Cr Nancy Sommerfield was the only councillor to vote against the proposal, having earlier questioned the position of the tower near other office buildings.

The proposed location for a new 25m monopole tower along Perseverance Dam Rd at Crows Nest.
The proposed location for a new 25m monopole tower along Perseverance Dam Rd at Crows Nest.

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