Council refuses to approve Optus development application after concerns voiced from Harward Road residents

In a win for people-power, Harward Road residents have had their fears allied after council refused to approve the development application submitted by Optus to build a service tower, for now at least.

The Griffith City Council made the decision at the Tuesday meeting, after an overwhelmingly strong response for the residents at Harward Road.

Director Sustainable Development Neil Southorn said "Optus can choose to reconsider their options and submit a DA for an alternative site.”

 HARD WON: Harward Road residents Max Brugger, Lauren Sosse, Lyn Royston, Olivia Royston, 2, Pirata Wylie, Joshua Wylie, 3 months, Alexander Wylie, 2, Helen Wylie, Joy Smith and Keith Royston.

HARD WON: Harward Road residents Max Brugger, Lauren Sosse, Lyn Royston, Olivia Royston, 2, Pirata Wylie, Joshua Wylie, 3 months, Alexander Wylie, 2, Helen Wylie, Joy Smith and Keith Royston.

Lodged on April 20, the DA submitted by Optus would see the construction of a 32.5 metre slim mono-pole on the Coro Club property.

The tower promises better internet capabilities for residents within a five to six kilometer radius.

Representative for Optus Mark Burns addressed the council, and stated customer complaints from the area were taken into consideration when considering the location of the tower.

He explained extensive research by Optus concluded the Harward location was best situated to offer improvement to these customers.

“We had looked at other locations for the tower, however decided to go here … the location is quite important as it works with the existing facilities,” Mr Burns said.

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“Optus is investing over one million dollars in Griffith alone, this proposal is one part of several going on in the Griffith areas … making sure everyone in regional Australia has the same quality of services that people living in major cities will have.”

Arguing against the DA was Harward Road resident Helen Wylie, who gave a compelling case against the development of the tower, explaining the sentiment she shares with other residents in concern for their health and safety.

“I do understand that telecommunications is an important part of our everyday lives, and something that we must have,” Ms Wylie stated.

 “[Councillors] have an obligation to ensure the safety and well being of residents who live in an R1 general residential area, regardless of where in the Griffith area they reside.”

Councillor Dino Zapacosta, while thanking Optus for their continued presence and dedication to provide better service for Griffith residents, allied himself with the residents of West Griffith.

The Councillor read out an extensive list of house properties who had written in objection of the DA.

“I do feel, and it displeases me somewhat, this site is not the site I can support….I feel that council should not approve it,” Mr Zapacosta said.

“In fairness to the people who live there, and we must listen to concerns of the people, it is obvious it is something they would not prefer.”