MITCHELL MP Alex Hawke has called on Telstra to consider building its next telecommunications mast at Castle Hill Showground instead of Castle Hill RSL Club.
"Given the proximity of the proposed site to local schools and childcare facilities, it is my view that it would be preferable to locate another potential site for this facility, ideally somewhere in the vicinity of the Castle Hill Showground," he said.
Anne-Maree Kinley said his comments were encouraging.
As president of the Castle Hill High Parents & Citizens Association, she has been instrumental in mobilising teachers and parents from four preschools and five schools within 500 metres of the RSL, including Castle Hill High, to oppose the tower on health grounds.
The Department of Education's preference is for telecommunications facilities to be built at least 500 metres from a school boundary.
Under federal law, Telstra do not need a development application to build an eight-metre mobile tower on the roof of Castle Hill RSL.
Ms Kinley said what's really needed is for a politician to push for changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) Amendment (Telecommunications Facilities) 2010 that enforce the department's preference.
"We've had a very intense response from those directly affected who feel like we do," Ms Kinley said. Nearly 2400 people have signed their petition.
A Telstra spokeswoman said: "Telstra did consider the Castle Hill Showground, but this site is too close to our existing sites at Fred Caterson Reserve and at Gladstone Road."
FOLLOW THE STORY:
We are now in week five of this campaign.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
■ Sign the petition: chn.ge/1cFock3
■ Should telecommunications facilities be built near schools and preschools?
■ How good is your mobile coverage in and around Castle Hill RSL? Could it be better?