Greg's thoughts on the Dereel mobile phone tower
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This is the first of a number of pages I have written about the resistance to the erection of a mobile phone tower in Dereel. The second is here. I originally wrote this document in August 2007, when the prospect of a mobile tower in Dereel was just theoretical. In December 2008, Optus submitted plans to build a tower in Dereel. This project was cancelled because of resistance from people like Wendy McClelland.

On 17 August 2007 I received a document in the mail from Wendy McClelland, entitled “HEALTH HAZARD FOR DEREEL: The Deadly Microwave Radiation emitted from Communication Towers”. I met Wendy on 1 August and commented on her views on that occasion, but this document makes it clear that I'm going to have to do more.

I take the following statement as being almost correct:

A draft report document called 'Integrated Urban Design Framework' for Dereel, Rokewood and Corindhap has been put out by Golden Plains Shire for the public to view and comment on for further town plans.

On page 33 it suggests putting in a radiation tower in Dereel.

There are plenty of reasons to doubt Wendy's expertise, but calling it “radiation tower” is almost certainly a scare tactic.

The rest of the document is a confused, hysterical and unsubstantiated list of claims of all the horrors that would happen if we were to have a mobile telephone tower in the area. The whole document is two pages long; I'll summarize:

What do the experts think?

One thing I haven't addressed in the discussion above is whether mobile phones really do pose a health risk; I don't know, and possibly they do. But I do contend that the only way to find out is to research the issue objectively, and I don't believe that Wendy has done this. In particular, I have given references in this link, while Wendy has given none whatever that are publicly available.

My thoughts on the relative dangers are reflected in two of the documents I found. The first is the document I found while looking for information on power output above. It's in PDF format, but contains some interesting information:

As mentioned before, the World Health Organization has a number of documents on the subject. Here are two that I found interesting:

WHO has a number of other Fact sheets on the subject, but I haven't read them.

The advantages of mobile phones

Wendy has portrayed mobile phones as a danger to humans. But there's another side. They're of immense advantage:


Like others, I can't completely reject the possibility that mobile phones pose a unique health risk. I consider it highly unlikely, however, and if it exists it will be relatively minor. Given the enormous public opposition to the technology, as witnessed by Wendy, I'm confident that any such problem will be identified and worked around. I don't believe that the issues are really related to the towers.

In the meantime, Wendy is doing everybody a disservice by disseminating suspicions. There are two possibilities that I see:

  1. There is no health danger whatsoever from mobile phones. In this case, Wendy is wasting our time.

  2. There are health dangers from mobile phones. In this case, Wendy is wasting our time by making unsubstantiated claims, including conspiracy theories, rather than using scientific method to establish what these dangers are.

On the other hand, I do want to have access to modern communications. Currently Dereel has almost no mobile phone coverage, and it has caused me—and I'm sure many others—significant problems. I hope that the tower will be built, preferably somewhere where it's not an eyesore.

Other references

The following list of links is not necessarily the best; it's what I've come across while researching this matter.

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