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Date Posted: 16:50:07 04/16/03 Wed
Author: BRW Letters Column
Subject: Bad day at Oatley Park

The other day, as I do every week, I took my lunch and my BRW to Oatley Park beside the Georges River in Sydney's south. I was annoyed to find a construction team hard at work there, building one of the towers that will be used by Hutchison Telecommunications (Orange) for its planned expansion into third-generation (3G) mobile services. Your report Hutchison's do or die (Cover Story, April 3) outlines the company's plans, and reflects the opinion that
Hutchison is being foolhardy in its attempt to take on the three other (and bigger) networks.

After reading your article, I was struck by the incongruity of what I could see in front of me. Was all this building one of the foundations to cement Hutchison's place in the history of Australian telecommunications? Or, more likely, was it digging the hole that will be a grave for Hutchison Orange? I cannot believe that Australians have any real need for 3G services on top of the mobile systems that already exist. The social and environmental cost to our cities will be enormous, particularly because of the requirement to space many of the towers a mere three kilometres apart. There will be visual degradation of the landscape, fears of exposure to radiation, and land will be lost from parks and reserves. The fact that I was sitting in a nature reserve watching a tower being built about 100 metres from a primary school did not strike me as a brave new wireless world. It was more like corporate vandalism.

Scott Dawkins, Oatley, NSW

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Replies:

[> Hutchison Are No Featherweights -- Book, 19:10:15 04/21/03 Mon

Hutchison have a huge powerbase in their European opeation, it is quite likely that Hutchison will succeed in breaking into the Australia market (most would argue that it already has). Just as Cable & Wireless Optus managed to attract huge number of customers who at the time would normally have chosen the then Telecom Australia.

Some people never believed electricity would "catch on", yet we still have telegraph poles running along almost every street. I personally find 10 metre high poles at 100m intervals far less attractive than a communications tower every 3000 metres.

--
Book

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[> the power pole problem -- wagstaff, 23:22:36 04/28/03 Mon

we agree that power poles and wires are a huge blight on the landscape. so many others including many councils agree, that there is a growing movement to put them underground. Why would we want to repeat the same mistake with the proliferation of mobile phone towers??

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