Telstra abandons planned mini mobile phone base station at Caringbah South

Telstra has scrapped plans to install a mini mobile phone base station at Caringbah South following protests from residents and the intervention of Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his role as the MP for Cook.

The telco said it was "disappointed" it would not be able to improve mobile phone capacity and coverage for customers in the area.

Several residents with serious health problems, as well as young families, live close to the site in Castlenau Street, where Telstra proposed to install the facility on a power pole.

A Telstra spokesman said on Thursday the telco had for many months "been trying to find a solution that would relieve local network congestion and boost mobile capacity and coverage for residents and businesses" in the area.

"We had proposed the installation of a low impact 4G small cell, but we were unable to find a suitable location that met our technical needs and also was in line with the wishes of the community," he said.

"Telstra is disappointed we will not be able to improve its telecommunications service for residents in the short term but will continue to investigate potential alternative sites within the area."

Sutherland Shire councillor Barry Collier was the first to publicly raise the concerns of residents after Telstra advised on November 15, 2018, the installation would go ahead after completion of a public consultation process.

Mayor Carmelo Pesce told a council meeting in November he had already had conversations with Mr Morrison and his electoral staff about the matter.

The council resolved to ask Telstra to reconsider the location and to ask Mr Morrison, as the MP for Cook, “to intervene on compassionate grounds to encourage Telstra and its contractors to actively seek an alternative non-intrusive and less sensitive location”.

A spokeswoman for Mr Morrison subsequently advised a meeting was held on December 11 in his Cronulla electoral office, and was attended by three residents, four Telstra representatives, Cr Pesce and Mr Morrison’s electorate manager.

The spokeswoman said Telstra had committed to come back to the group with feedback on the issues raised at the meeting, and reassured them that no decision has been made.

“Mr Morrison and the mayor will continue to pursue this matter with Telstra and ensure the residents objections are taken seriously,” she said at that time.

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