Big win for residents as Telstra decides not to proceed with Kareela small cell installation

Residents celebrate Telstra's decision not to proceed with a mobile phone small cell installation in Moonbi Place, Kareela. Picture: Jennifer de Witte
Residents celebrate Telstra's decision not to proceed with a mobile phone small cell installation in Moonbi Place, Kareela. Picture: Jennifer de Witte

Telstra's decision not to proceed with a proposed mobile phone small cell installation in Moonbi Place, Kareela has been hailed as a big win for local residents.

Telstra has confirmed it will not proceed with the small cell installation at Moonbi Place and will be looking at other options for coverage in the Kareela area.

The plan had been opposed by local residents, the Kareela Public School P&C Association, Hughes MP Craig Kelly and Sutherland Shire Council.

"Telstra is reviewing the coverage requirements for Kareela and considering alternative options to achieve optimal network coverage in the area," the Telco said in a joint statement with contractor Metasite issued last Friday.

Residents of Moonbi Place, Kareela celebrate Telstra's decision not to proceed with small cell installation. Video: Jennifer de Witte

"Telstra confirms that small cells will be a feature of the future network."

Federal Member for Hughes, Craig Kelly welcomed Telstra's decision not to proceed with the small cell installation in Moonbi Place, Kareela.

"I would like to thank Telstra for their decision and look forward to Telstra continuing to work with my Office to ensure that the community is appropriately consulted on any future installation of a small cell in Hughes," Mr Kelly said.

"These issues should always be above politics and shows what can be achieved when everyone works together to deliver the best outcome for the community."

Sutherland Shire Labor Councillor Barry Collier acknowledged the contribution of all his fellow Shire Councillors.

"The Kareela result is an excellent example of what we can achieve when we put aside our political differences and all levels of government work together in the best interests of the community," Cr Collier said.

Mr Kelly thanked the many local Kareela residents who contacted his office to share their concerns with the proposed Moonbi Place installation, and who worked closely with his Chief of Staff, Frank Zumbo, to ensure that their concerns were addressed by Telstra not proceeding with the installation.

"Special thanks go to Jessie Dummett, Tony Shaw, Rob Goschin as well as Caterina Zannino, President of Kareela Public School P&C Association," Mr Kelly said.

"Such local input demonstrates that, while mobile phone reception needs to be improved in parts of the Hughes electorate, such improvements would benefit considerably from appropriate and timely community consultation, particularly in relation to the safety of small cells," he said.

"I especially invite Telstra and other carriers to consider striking the right balance on small cells in places where mobile phone reception could be improved.

"In the Hughes electorate these include Grays Point, Oyster Bay, Como, Bundeena and the Royal National Park.

"In the case of the Royal National Park, poor or non-existent mobile phone reception represents an important and growing safety issue for the increasing number of people using the Park.

"No one should be left stranded without mobile phone reception in case of a breakdown or, more dangerously, in the case of an accident in the Park," Mr Kelly said.

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