Mt Shadforth to get a second towering infernal.

WESTERN Power plans to erect a 60m communications tower on Mohr drive, near the existing emergency services tower and Mt Shadforth lookout, by the end of the year.

“We are strengthening our meshed communications network in the Great Southern, to ensure the ongoing supply of electrical services, including emergency response times,” a Western Power spokesman said.

“To achieve this we need to place equipment in an elevated position that has a clear line of sight to our network facilities in the area, as well as substations in Albany and Mount Barker.

“Because of the geographical spread of our facilities, a 60m structure is needed so that our microwave radio operates efficiently.”

The existing emergency services tower on Mt Shadforth had no spare capacity, so another tower was the only workable solution.

Options with a smaller footprint, such as a monopole, were not viable because they had a structural height limit of around 40m.

The Denmark tower is one of three planned by Western Power to upgrade its communications network in the region.

The other two will be at Boorara Brook and Walpole, with construction planned for around the same time as the Denmark site.

Homes and businesses affected by the Western Power tower have already received letters outlining the plan and seeking comment by 25 September.

(Telstra intends to erect a 50m mobile phone relay facility on Wilson Head, as part of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot program. A monopole was chosen to minimise visual impact. It too is due for completion by the end of this year. – Ed)

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