Cities win appeal over supersized phone booths

The cities of Melbourne and Brisbane have been successful in a Federal Court appeal in relation to Telstra’s ‘super-sized’ phone booths.

The effect of the Federal Court ruling means that the pay-phones are not considered low-impact’ facilities and they do require Council planning approval.
Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said the Councils argued that Telstra intended to use the facilities to display third party commercial advertising once they were installed.
“This was truly a David and Goliath battle and we’re proud to get the right outcome for our cities from the Federal Court appeal,” Cr Reece said.
“All along we have maintained that the supersized phone booths are designed to generate advertising revenue for Telstra at the expense of our community.
“Other Australian capital cities also raised concerns about the supersized phone booths disrupting footpath traffic and negatively impacting our cities.”
“First and foremost cities are for people, and the interests of the people who use our streets must come first.
“We don’t want people to be bombarded with oversized and intrusive commercial advertising on public infrastructure.  
The City of Melbourne and the City of Brisbane were awarded costs, so Telstra will be required to pay the legal fees of both cities. 
At 2.7 metres high and 1.2 metres wide, the new payphone structures are 600mm taller and 400mm wider than the older phone booths. They are also fitted with 75″ LCD screens – which are 60 per cent larger than the previous signage displays – and which are programmed to show up to four advertisements per minute.
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