A Wagga Optus customer has threatened to walk away from the telco if it proceeds with plans to build a new 30-metre-high mobile phone tower barely 100 metres from his driveway.
In response to public criticism earlier this year, Ventia withdrew its application to install the mobile phone base station with eight antennae and a microwave dish at 13 Sycamore Road in Lake Albert, just metres from the thoroughfare and adjoining residential properties.
While there was relief from residents at the time, an Optus spokesperson indicated the withdrawal was in response to community feedback and the tower would be relocated further towards the back of the property.
The spokesperson said at the time this was to "reduce visual impacts of the structure on Sycamore Road" and confirmed there were plans to lodge a new DA.
Optus has now followed through with that plan, lodging an amended development application to Wagga City Council, which shows the tower location has now been moved to a point approximately 100 metres from Sycamore Road.
However, the new proposed location is still opposite neighbouring resident Glen Gaudron's driveway, as was the last one, and he said placing the tower 100 metres further away was not good enough.
Mr Gaudron said he had spoken with a number of residents over the re-lodged development application and said there was opposition from other quarters as well.
He raised concern why the tower could not be co-located with a pre-existing tower that already exists at the nearby Kooringal Sewage Treatment Works.
He said the same had been done at the golf course on the shores of Lake Albert.
Noting there is already a tower at the nearby sewage plant from his property, Mr Gaudron also wondered whether putting towers so close together was setting a precedent.
"Are we going to have towers every 300 metres away in residential areas," he said.
Mr Gaudron, who is an Optus customer, also raised concerns as to why the new tower was needed as he already had great reception and threatened to part ways if the plans proceed.
"If this goes ahead, I won't be with Optus anymore," he said.
He also raised concerns that Optus did not adequately assess other possible sites for relocation before deciding on its new proposed location and claimed it did not conduct soil testing at the new proposed tower site.
Raising concerns over claims by Optus the natural environment will hide the tower, Mr Gaudron said he has not received a photo to indicate how this is possible.
He went on to claim Optus created a "dodged up" photo depicting the tower and what it would look like in the surrounding environment when the DA was previously before the council.
Mr Gaudron also raised concerns that the DA has not taken into account the tower is going into a residential area - especially given their house driveway is directly opposite the property where the tower will go up.
While Optus did not address every concern raised, a spokesperson said the company did consider a reservoir site, however it was found to be inadequate.
"It would not meet radio frequency objectives," the Optus spokesperson said.
In response to concerns adequate testing wasn't conducted before the new site was chosen, the spokesperson said Optus did everything by the book.
"We undertake detailed engineering investigations as part of the site design, and it will comply with all regulatory requirements," the spokesperson said.
Responding to claims of images portraying an inaccurate depiction of the site in the previously lodged development application, the spokesperson said "photomontage images of the proposal were completed in line with professional best practice".