TEACHERS and parents from five schools and four preschools have united to stop Telstra erecting an 8-metre mobile tower on the roof of Castle Hill RSL.
They are so serious about stopping the tower they have included a clause in their petition about swapping carriers if Telstra refuses to back down and build elsewhere.
"This is schools versus Telstra," Castle Hill High's Parents and Citizens Association president Anne-Maree Kinley said.
The school faces the RSL and is within what Pri Bandara describes as the "hot zone" of 100 to 200 metres from a telecommunications facility "where radiation is at its highest intensity".
Castle Hill High principal Vicki Brewer said: "Of course we have Wi-Fi and need to use technology in the classroom but there's a limit.
"At risk, from my point of view, are 1400 students and 100 staff."
Dr Bandara is an adviser to the international scientific advisory panel of the Environmental Health Trust USA. She has been asked by Ms Brewer to check the electromagnetic energy levels already present at Castle Hill High.
Dr Bandara is part of a growing body of scientists studying the effects of EME from man-made sources on public health and who advocate a precautionary approach in general and prudent avoidance with children. This is also reflected in the Department of Education and Training's policy on mobile telecommunications facilities.
Telstra said while it is aware of the policy — including the department's preference for telecommunications facilities to be built at least 500 metres from a school boundary — its research predicted the maximum EME from the new RSL site as 0.24 per cent of the allowable limit under the Australian standard.
"That's less than 1/400th of what we are allowed," a spokeswoman said.
She said the proposal was in accordance with the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) Amendment (Telecommunications Facilities) 2010 and therefore did not require a development application, although Telstra will submit a consultation report to The Hills Council on August 23.
Telstra's consultation period ends tomorrow, Wednesday.
Telstra’s proposed mobile network telecommunications base station at 77 Castle Street, Castle Hill, would comprise of:
■ three panel antennas (2.5metres in length each) at an elevation of 18.87metres;
■ provision for three future panel antennas (same length at same elevation); and
■ 12 new outdoor units to house ancillary equipment and an equipment shelter.
WHO'S AGAINST THE TOWER
■ Castle Hill High
■ Castle Hill Public
■ Glenhaven Public
■ Samuel Gilbert Public
■ Excelsior Public
■ Castle Hill Child Care Centre
■ The Discovery House preschool
■ Wesley Preschool
■ Fiona Childcare
■ Do you think mobile telecommunications facilities should be built near schools and preschools?