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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020) . . Page.. 212 ..

Infrastructure—mobile phone towers(Question No 10)

Mrs Kikkert asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 4 December 2020 (redirected to the Treasurer):

(1) What negotiations were held between Icon water and Telstra to facilitate the construction of mobile reception tower at the Lower Molonglo water Quality Control Centre.

(2) What was the final cost to the ACT Government in constructing this tower

(3) What is the breakdown of this cost.

(4) Did either Icon Water or Telstra contribute financially to the cost of the tower; if so, what was their financial contribution.

(5) What factors were considered in the placement of the tower to ensure optimal coverage.

(6) Was a feasibility study commissioned to determine the feasibility and need of the tower; if so, can the Chief Minister provide the document.

(7) How long was the process to completion and activation of the tower.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

This was a commercial transaction between Icon Water (Icon) and Telstra. Icon has provided the following information:

(1) Icon investigated improving mobile phone reception at the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre (LMWQCC) site for operational reasons, including the enhancement of remote monitoring and emergency management capabilities.

The site is located on land leased by Icon in an isolated valley area west of Belconnen where the mobile phone reception was poor. An existing communications tower on site hosting a 3G receiver was identified as having potential to host a 4G receiver.

It was demonstrated that this would deliver the desired improvements in mobile phone reception, without the need to construct a new tower.

(2) The ACT Government was not a party to this transaction and therefore did not incur any costs.

(3) Icon paid $262,700 (excl. GST) for the installation of the 4G receiver and $10,000 for design costs.

(4) The works undertaken to improve mobile coverage at LMWQCC included additional antennae, cabling, and new equipment. The costs were significantly lower than the construction of a new tower due to there being existing infrastructure on the Icon land site, including pole, electricity/data lines, a building to house the equipment with separate air conditioning and security systems.

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