SSMA Melbourne Seminar (20 November) presentation slides now available

Stop Smart Meters Australia (SSMA) was honoured to host a very well attended presentation by internationally recognised expert Professor Dariusz Leszczynski earlier this month at Oakleigh Grammar Community Conference Centre on How probable are health effects of radiation from wireless transmitting devices?.  Professor Leszczynski has kindly made available the slides for his informative presentation.  The slides are available here: leszczynski-ssma-lecture-nov-2016

Professor Leszczynski’s talk was followed by a presentation by Steve Weller, B.Sc., on the Current state of play – SSMA and science update.  This covered Stop Smart Meters Australia’s interactions with state and federal government departments in relation to smart meter deployments.  Steve also talked about his role as the SSMA community representative on the Electromagnetic Energy Reference Group (EMERG); this committee was established by ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) to enable input on public health issues related to the use of radiofrequency spectrum for communications.  His comprehensive presentation is available here: Steve’s SSMA Presentation 20th November

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Smart meters by stealth

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) made a new rule last year which is intended to “open up competition in metering and facilitate a market-led deployment of advanced meters”.  The new arrangements commence on 1 December 2017 in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Under the new rule, consumers have the right to opt out of having their existing working meter replaced with an advanced (a.k.a. smart) meter where a retailer is undertaking a new meter deployment; however, this option is not available for new connections or where a faulty meter is being replaced.  Opt-outs are also not permitted where there is a prepayment meter and a customer subsequently requires life support equipment; in these circumstances the prepayment meter will be immediately removed and replaced with an advanced meter.  In addition, opt-outs are not permitted for maintenance replacements, where sample testing has indicated existing meters may become faulty.

Is this new rule the slippery slope towards pushing all customers subject to the National Energy Customer Framework on to wireless smart meters?  Although the new rule pointedly specifies the services which the meter must be capable of providing, rather than the technical functionality, the reality is that a device which is capable of wirelessly emitting pulsed microwaves 24 hours a day, every day, will be installed.

Even in cases where there is no existing smart meter network in place and a new or replacement meter is required, a communications-ready meter is to be provided.  The AEMC has acknowledged that where there is no right of opt-out, such as for new connections, faulty meters or maintenance replacement meters, some customers will seek to prevent the installation of a smart meter; in such instances, where the customer has communicated a refusal, provision has also been made to install a communications-ready smart meter. However, in these circumstances the remote access capabilities will not be activated until the customer consents to this.  There is no requirement to notify customers, other than informing the customer of an interruption to their supply of electricity, if a meter is being replaced due to it being faulty or if a maintenance replacement is being undertaken.  It is therefore imperative that customers put in place measures to signify their refusal of a smart meter in advance.

The new rule does not apply in Western Australia or the Northern Territory, as separate energy frameworks apply in these jurisdictions.  Victoria has only partially adopted the National Energy Customer Framework, and is yet to implement this new rule as law.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council requested the new rule. COAG Energy Council members are comprised of energy and resources ministers from the Commonwealth, each State and Territory, and New Zealand.

For further information, see:

http://www.aemc.gov.au/Energy-Rules/Retail-energy-rules/Guide-to-application-of-the-NECF

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Mobile Phone Radiation Warning Sign Sparks First Amendment Battle in the U.S. – Newsweek

In the back of the Apple Store in Berkeley, California, at the end of the bar where those “geniuses” repair iPhones and MacBooks, is a placard with this warning: “If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation.” Read the safety instructions in the manual, it tells consumers. Or else.

The Apple Store posted the notice to comply with a Berkeley city ordinance—the first in the nation—requiring retailers to alert consumers to the federal guidelines for safe cellphone use. The warning drew little attention when I visited that Apple Store in October. But such notices drew the attention—and the ire—of CTIA, a trade association representing some of the nation’s largest cellphone manufacturers and carriers, including Apple, Samsung, Verizon and AT&T. CTIA went to court, arguing that Berkeley’s notice infringes on cellphone retailers’ First Amendment rights. The ordinance, it said, forced retailers to “distribute its one-sided, innuendo-laden, highly misleading and scientifically unsupported opinion on a matter of public controversy.” Berkeley maintains in court documents that the notice is “nothing but an arrow that points to the very manuals written by manufacturers.”

The so-called right-to-know ordinance has sparked an epic dispute between two of the nation’s foremost, and formidable, legal titans.

CTIA hired Theodore Olson, a former solicitor general who argued the case that put George W. Bush in the White House and is considered one of the nation’s most effective U.S. Supreme Court advocates. Berkeley is represented by Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor and cyberlaw expert who last year ran for president as a Democrat to push for an overhaul of campaign finance. The two are now jousting over the Berkeley ordinance in federal court.

Lessig, who helped craft the Berkeley ordinance in a way that he hoped would withstand a cellphone industry lawsuit, is not charging the city for his services. He volunteered because he believes corporations discourage governments from imposing regulations by filing First Amendment lawsuits that are prohibitively expensive to defend, he tells Newsweek. “I’m a constitutional scholar, and I am very concerned,” he says.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of San Francisco allowed the Berkeley cellphone warning law to take effect in January. In a hearing last year, Chen read from an iPhone manual cautioning that the device could exceed federal radiation-exposure guidelines if carried closer than five-eighths of an inch from the body. “The mandated disclosure truthfully states that federal guidelines may be exceeded where spacing is not observed, just as the FDA accurately warns that ‘tobacco smoke can harm your children,’” Chen wrote.

The wireless association appealed Chen’s decision to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In September, Olson and Lessig debated the matter before a three-judge panel. The judges are expected to issue a written ruling in the next few months.

Read the full article at:  Radiation Waring Sign Sparks First Amendment Battle 

Don’t forget, Professor Leszczynski from the University of Helsinki will be speaking in Melbourne on the harmful effects of wireless technology on Sunday 20 November.  Click here for more information. 

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Melbourne to Host International Speaker on Harmful Health Effects and Wireless Technology

dariusz-flyer-a4-vic

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AGL offers smart meters as an option (in small print!) to South Australians

AGL is rolling out smart meters in South Australia – but is avoiding the word “smart”.

While the roll-out is not ‘compulsory’, it is by default. People will need to ring AGL to cancel the installation of a smart meter prior to the installation between 31 October and 11 November.

However, residents are given only one week’s notice to cancel the installation.

Quotable quotes from AGL:

“The technology in your electricity meter is over 100 years old. So it’s time for an upgrade. That’s why we’re replacing your old meter with a new digital electricity meter.” [Which won’t last 100 years, but between 10 and 15 years – before it will have to be replaced again!]

“AGL is upgrading your electricity meter free of charge. Then, you will no longer need to worry about manual meter reads or estimated bills.” [Who “worries” about manual reads??]

“If you would prefer not to be upgraded, simply call us on 1300 669 245 any time before 31 October or visit agl.com.au/upgrade” 

AGL refers to wireless smart meters as ‘digital meters’.  This is misleading. Of course all communications-enabled smart meters are digital meters, but NOT ALL digital meters have a radiofrequency communications chip.

Does AGL fear people will be more inclined to opt-out of having a so-called ‘digital’ meter if they are fully aware of what they are being offered: a wireless device that emits pulsed radiation every day, 24 hours per day?

See below for copies of AGL propaganda sent to South Australian residences (which is identical to the NSW versions).

agl-smart-meters-sa-pamphlet agl-smart-meters-sa-pamphlet re-scanned-agl-smart-meters-sa-install-notice

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Science and Wireless 2016, 22nd November, RMIT

The Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR) is hosting Science & Wireless again this year at RMIT University, Melbourne.

The focus of this year’s event will be a keynote presentation on ‘Radiofrequency radiation applications in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease’ followed by a brief review of ICNIRP exposure guidelines and 5G standards. A facilitated Q&A panel discussion with the ACEBR Chief Investigators and guest presenters will provide opportunities for open discussion on the topics, followed by informal conversations during the poster session over drinks and light snacks.

General attendees must register by 1st November the latest for catering purposes. Note that registration is free.

Program updates and the online registration form are available at: http://www.rmit.edu.au/events/all-events/conferences/2016/november/science-and-wireless-2016.

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Environmental Sensitivities Symposium starts 17th October

The 2016 Environmental Sensitivities Symposium begins on Monday 17th October and runs through to Saturday 22nd October.  This Melbourne-based online event offers a free registration package and features interviews with 15 speakers from around the world.  The topic for each interview is a paper written by the speaker especially for this year’s symposium.

The following interviews are of special relevance to issues surrounding electromagnetic radiation:

Day 1, Monday 17th October

11 am Assoc Prof Olle Johansson: “Health Effects of Artificial Electromagnetic Fields. A Wake-Up Call from a Neuroscientist… But is Anyone in Power Picking Up? Hello…?”

12 noon Cyril W Smith: “Hertz and Hurts”

Day 2, Tuesday 18th October

10 am Lyn McLean:  “Wireless Radiation, Standards and Safety”

Day 3, Wednesday 19th October

9 am Dr Sivani Saravanamuttu: “The Biological Impacts of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field Radiation: An Indian Perspective”

11 am Dr Sharyn Martin: Environmental Sensitivity Conditions in Australians and the Impacts of these Conditions on their Lives

Day 4, Thursday 20th October

9 am Dr Mary Redmayne: “Mobile Phone Habits at School and Fertility Implications, School Rules and their Effectiveness: 2009 and now”

12 noon Lucinda Curran: “Beyond the Band-Aid: Getting to the Bottom of Environmental Sensitivities”

The symposium also features Q&A time-slots, introductory mini-interviews and, for those people who are on the free registration package, 24 hour’s access to the sessions.

To register, go to www.essymposium.com

2016-environmental-sensitivities-symposium

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