Mount Alexander Shire will recommend a 21 year lease in Castlemaine be signed to allow Optus to build a telecommunications facility on Tuesday.
The proposed facility is part of a nationwide Optus effort to improve mobile black-spots and will be designed to provide increased service and signal strength across the Castlemaine region.
The facility will consist of a 35 metre monopole with three panel antennas, a metering panel and an outdoor cabinet on a raised concrete slab.
However, the community response to the facility has been less than encouraging.
Following a community engagement process, the shire received over 30 submissions opposing the development - and only six in favour.
At the core of the oppositions were community fears about radiation from the facility.
Community members raised concerns about potential health risks including increased cancer risk, genetic damage, cellular stress, oxidation of cells, changes to the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, and neurological disorders.
Among the radiation fears, community members were also concerned about restrictions on potential future development, loss of nearby property value and the negative visual impact on the heritage town.
Optus have confirmed the telecommunications facility complies with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) standards. This means radiation from the facility will not exceed 300GHz.
The shire has also argued concerns over property values are not valid planning objections.
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