Australian Financial Review
Hutchison's 3G tower headache
Hutchison could be forced to dismantle scores of the high-tech mobile phone towers that power its '3' video-phone network after the High Court rejected its application to appeal a court ruling that ordered the removal of a tower in south Sydney.
Hurstville City Council mayor Vince Badalati
said he was not worried about the smashed padlock but was glad Hutchison had
begun removing the structure quickly. He said a number of other councils may be
able to take similar action against the telco, which
launched its third-generation mobile service in
Mr Badalati said Hutchison
had erected its '3' tower at
relied on a maintenance provision in the Telecommunications Act to erect the
tower. Usually, building such towers requires a permit from the Australian
Communications Authority, which first holds a public inquiry.
generally get around this process by relying on an exemption in the act that
allows a carrier to "maintain" an existing facility. In the case of
In July, the NSW Court of Appeal ruled that Hutchison was wrong to rely on that provision.
One source said an affidavit sworn by a Hutchison project manager indicated that many more '3' sites could be affected if the High Court refused to allow the company's appeal. Deacons partner Peter Rigg, who acted for Hurstville Council, also said a number of other sites could be affected.
understood to be considering legal action of a similar nature include
Hutchison said in a statement that it was disappointed by the High Court's decision but intended to comply with orders to remove the facility (at present an equipment shed still remains) within 10 days. A spokesman also said the company's contractors would not have done anything Hurstville Council was not first made aware of.