The "long drawn out saga" over plans to build a mobile phone tower to improve coverage in Bushfield have been knocked back by Warrnambool councillors.
Despite a recommendation from council officers to grant a permit, Cr Richard Ziegeler put forward an alternative motion to refuse the project - a move which attracted the unanimous support of fellow councillors.
It wasn't the only planning matter that Cr Ziegeler voted against at Monday's council meeting saying that of those he was asked to consider this month he would side with objectors in every case because he was elected to be a representative of the people.
"And it is they who are objecting to impositions on their property, their lifestyles and their amenity," Cr Ziegeler said.
"In this case the corporate giant has essentially ignored the concerns of the resident neighbours and presented a cynical shift of the tower which should not be there at all."
He said the proponent had the resources and the capability to put the tower in another place that would not impact "so rudely" on the neighbourhood.
"This proposal was made to fit an economical model, the bottom line, the almighty dollar, and not to the needs or wants of the local residents," Cr Ziegeler said.
"I believe it should be rejected out of hand."
Cr Ben Blain said he couldn't support the tower's location because there were other sites in the area that could be used without causing so much community angst.
While the report said other sites had been investigated, Cr Blain said more work could be done on other sites - a stance held by a number other councillors.
"The residents up this road already live next to one tower, and it's not fair to expect them to have to be sandwiched between two," he said.
"I don't think it's worth the risk to the residents being between two towers and I don't think it's what they signed up for when deciding to build their homes and living in a semi-rural property."
Cr Angie Paspaliaris said to impose a second tower in such close proximity was "unacceptable".
She said the applicant had resources to look for a better solution and better location.
Cr Debbie Arnott said it had been a very long drawn out saga and the community had come up against a strong opponent who obviously had money and resources.
"We are here to represent the community, the community in Bushfield is speaking and saying they do not want a tower in that position," she said.
Cr Otha Akoch said the issue was upsetting to him personally because it was a giant corporate which had good resources who could build where it wanted.
He said he was concerned about potential health effects and impact on land valuation that could deter future growth in the area.
Mayor Vicki Jellie said telecommunication towers weren't placed near schools, and the proposed location was close to where schoolchildren lived.
"Those children that live in that area are at home near that tower for longer than they are at school each day," she said.
Cr Ziegeler said he fully expected the communications giant would probably seek to have the decision overthrown, possibly through the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal.
That comment prompted Cr Blain to call a point of order and Cr Ziegeler to withdraw the statement saying council could not preempt the decision of an other tribunal.
When the mayor asked if Cr Ziegeler would retract his comment, Cr Ziegler asked: "Why should I retract that?"
It sparked discussion on whether a retraction was needed to which Cr Ziegeler offered to temper his comments.
The motion to knock back the tower was passed 6-0 after Cr Max Taylor declared a conflict of interest and did not vote.
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