Telstra’s mobile tower info session missing the mark?

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today expressed concerns that Telstra’s upcoming “pop in” community information session could leave Moffatt Beach residents with more questions than answers regarding a proposed Telstra Mobile Tower in their neighbourhood.  

It comes as Telstra and Visionstream contacted Mr McArdle Monday to confirm that a community information session would be held the Caloundra Events Centre on 31 January between 4pm and 8pm for residents to “drop in” and provide feedback about the proposed construction of Mobile Tower in Moffatt beach. 

Mr McArdle said that his office has received dozens of emails and phone calls from local residents who are concerned about the tower’s possible construction, and this informal information session could exacerbate the community’s feelings that they have not be properly consulted on the proposal. 

“I have written back to Telstra and Visisonstream advising that this may not be the best way to consult the community about something that they very clearly have concerns about.” Mr McArdle said.  

“It would seem wise to ensure that the community is provided with a full and open consultation forum with qualified people, coupled with a full and frank question and answer session where they feel that their concerns are being heard and addressed.”  

“I made it clear that I would be more than happy to be assist in setting up a forum of this nature so long as I am guaranteed that suitably qualified representatives from Telstra and Visionstream will attend, together with an independent expert on RF EME exposure.” Mr McArdle said.  

In their response Visionstream stated that the drop in session would be “unstructured for attendees to view the information at their own pace” and that Visionstream and Telstra staff as well as EME experts would be on hand to answer questions. 

“In my experience this type of ‘McSession’ does not allow the community as a whole to get their point across.”

“With all respect to the staff who will attend, it is often the case that they simply cannot answer the breadth and depth of questions that the community presents.”  

“My real fear is it will become ‘fill in a form and well will get back to you.’ That is just not good enough for Caloundra.”  Mr McArdle concluded.