Victoria delays implementation of national arrangements for metering competition

The Victorian government has decided that it will not transition to the new national smart meter rule until 2021.  The new rule, which is intended to facilitate a market-led deployment of ‘advanced’ meters and metering competition, commences on 1 December in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Delaying implementation of the new rule means that Victorians continue to lack the opt-out rights accorded to other consumers.  Small customers (residential or business customers who consume energy below a specified threshold) in the jurisdictions which have adopted the new rule have the right to opt out of having their working meter replaced with a smart meter.  In addition, even if these consumers are receiving a new meter for other reasons, the national rule provides that customers who have communicated their refusal in advance will be given a non-communicating smart meter.

The delay in transitioning to the national arrangements means that Victorians are continuing to be treated as second-class citizens.

Although the Victorian government didn’t technically take the step of making smart meters compulsory when it mandated its rollout of smart meters, it instead foisted on power distributors the obligation to use their ‘best endeavours’ to install smart meters at every residence and small business.  This approach led to incidences of appalling abuse of human rights, and consumers being falsely told smart meters were mandatory and they had no choice but to accept them or face large fines or power cut-offs.  All complete lies!

Some people were bullied by installers into accepting a smart meter.  Other installers ignored and ripped down signs that stipulated that a smart meter was not to be installed.  Power distributors blatantly sought to mislead consumers as to how often smart meters emitted microwave transmissions in a bid to lull consumers into accepting a smart meter. A number of Victorians took the drastic measure of staying home all day, too frightened to leave their homes, in case an installer came whilst they were out.

Why doesn’t the Victorian Labor government do the right thing and give all Victorians the right to have a non-communicating meter?

 

For previous posts on this issue, see:

Power distributors advocate optional smart meters in Victoria – But will the Victorian Labor Government listen?  

Smart Meters by Stealth

To view the Financial Review’s story on Victoria’s decision to delay transitioning to the national rule, go to Victoria opts out of national rules on smart meters.

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Landlines Petition

 

Please consider signing this URGENT petition imploring the Government to keep landlines in rural areas!

The Productivity Commission is currently undertaking an inquiry into the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation. Draft recommendation 9.1 calls for the Australian Government to phase out Telstra’s obligation to provide landlines.

If rural Australians in the NBN satellite and fixed wireless footprints lose their landlines, they will be left without a safe means of voice communications.

The petition is on behalf of people suffering from the condition of EHS/ MTS (Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome/ Microwave Toxicity Syndrome). Those with this condition cannot tolerate wireless signals without becoming ill. This can occur when exposed to WiFi, smart meters, mobile phones, Bluetooth, etc.

Losing landlines in rural areas would be a human rights and health disaster. We need a radiation-free NBN for everyone. Don’t let them take away people’s right to choose radiation-free communications!

To see the text for this petition and to sign, go to: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/keep-land-lines-in-rural-areas.html

 

To view SSMA’s previous post on this issue, go to: https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2017/01/27/telstras-obligation-to-provide-landlines-may-be-given-the-flick/

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

WHO: Setting the Standard for a Wireless World of Harm

Former World Health Organisation staffer, Olga Sheean, has written a report calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) for action and accountability on wireless technology.

In her introduction to the report, Sheean writes:

The World Health Organization is failing the Earth’s citizens in the most blatant, destructive manner. In December 2016, a VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE in WHO and its EMF Project was initiated in response to the growing concerns among the millions of global citizens being harmed by radiofrequency/microwave radiation. The petition has been signed by thousands of individuals worldwide, with more adding their vote every day as they become aware of how WHO’s denial of the proven dangers has stripped them of their health, rights, livelihood, productivity and protection from their own governments……

Radiofrequency/microwave radiation is everywhere—constantly and increasingly emanating from cell phones, WiFi routers, cell towers and telecommunications satellites. It is proliferating unchecked and people are suffering and dying because of it. Via its International EMF Project, WHO is supposed to be protecting us from the harmful effects of this radiation—radiation that we cannot see, smell or taste, even though it penetrates and affects every cell of our electromagnetic bodies.

WHO is failing to protect its global citizens from this pervasive pollutant in four key ways:

1. industry infiltration
2. intentional ignorance
3. denial of the science
4. disregard for humanity.

This document provides details of these inexcusable failures and what urgently needs to be done to address them. It also outlines what WHO must do to reverse this destructive course—for itself and for the global citizens it is supposed to protect.

Click here for a copy of the report.

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Power distributors advocate optional smart meters in Victoria – But will the Victorian Labor Government listen?

Last year the Victorian Government, through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), issued an Options paper asking for feedback on proposed changes to the way electricity metering is installed and managed in Victoria. The purpose of the paper was to give Victorian community and industry stakeholders the opportunity to provide their views on how Victoria can best transition to the new national arrangements for metering competition for households and small businesses.

What is of particular interest to Stop Smart Meters Australia is the question posed by DELWP on whether Victoria should vary its current policy position on the ‘mandatory’ nature of smart meters, in order to fall in line with national arrangements.  (See our post entitled Smart Meters by Stealth for an overview of consumers’ right to opt out under the new national rule commencing 1 December 2017.)

The 18 responses to DEWLP make for some very interesting reading: http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/energy/electricity/smart-meters

In response to whether Victoria should vary its current policy position that smart meters are mandatory and allow households and small businesses to opt out of having a communicating smart meter Jemena wrote:

“About 2 % of JEN’s customers have steadfastly refused a communicating AMI smart meter. We consider customers should be able to opt out of having a communicating smart meter. The opt-out policy would be consistent with the national metering competition framework and reflects the customers’ interests.” (Emphasis added).

AusNet Services wrote:

“The current CROIC [Cost Recovery Order in Council] allows Victorian customers to refuse a smart meter exchange leaving the old meter in place. Whilst the national smart meter framework requires customers to receive a manually read interval meter instead. This essentially promotes the practice of removing communications modules from functioning meters, although we currently offer in very limited circumstances such as hypersensitivity. We would not support removing the communications module for any other reason.” (Emphasis added)

This is great news; both Jemena and AusNet services argue that smart meters should not be compulsory in Victoria, and AusNet Services acknowledges some people do suffer from electrohypersensitivity (EHS) as a result of the pulsed radiation emitted by smart meters. Yet the Andrews Labor Government REFUSES to admit this!!

Red Energy and Lumo Energy wrote:

“Red and Lumo support the national arrangements applying in Victoria, inclusive of the ability for customers to choose not to have a communicating smart meter.” (Emphasis added)

Yet United Energy disagrees, writing that smart meters should always be installed except on “the few occasions when telecommunications network and signal strength cannot are not available at the metering installation.” (Emphasis added)

This is typical of this heartless company who even refused to exchange their smart meter for a disabled young lady who suffered excruciating pain as a result of the pulsed radiation emitted from her smart meter. This woman’s mother wrote:

“United Energy have no empathy at all. They do not give a damn who suffers, and they will continue to deny that the smart meter is a health risk for some people. They continue to lie. I feel so very angry and frustrated that this is actually happening and that no one, including politicians and journalists, are brave enough to do anything about this.” See: https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2014/05/15/nicolas-nightmare-continues/

And

https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2014/04/29/why-is-there-no-provision-in-victorias-smart-meter-roll-out-for-people-who-are-sensitive-to-radiofrequency-microwaves/

And to top it off, the so-called Joint Consumer Groups’ submission advocates for the maintenance of mandatory smart meters. They wrote:

“Many of the identified benefits flowing from smart meters rely on communications technology. Customers opting out of having a communicating smart meter on any significant scale would diminish the value of processes currently undertaken by network businesses, including network management, safety and remote energisation. Given the benefits that flow from a fully communicating network, and that this requirement is already in place, there is little rationale for a change in approach at this stage. There have been a number of changes to this policy over the period of the rollout. To realise the societal benefits the policy should remain that advanced meters remain mandatory for households and small business.” (Emphasis added)

It is a simple and well known fact, that smart meters overwhelmingly benefit the multinational companies who install them and NOT consumers. See for example:

https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2016/03/23/benefits-of-smart-meters/

https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2015/09/17/smart-meters-you-paid-billions-for-electricity-companies-to-benefit-report/

https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2013/10/28/smart-meters-good-idea-or-a-lot-of-hot-air-u-k-telegraph/

https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2012/12/02/power-plays-not-such-a-clever-move-for-households/

The partners of the Joint Consumer Groups’ submission are: The Alternative Technology Association (ATA), Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC), the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Community Information & Support Victoria and St Vincent de Paul Society.

These organisations should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning the very people they claim to support.

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

World Health Organization – Setting the Standard for a Wireless World of Harm

Former international civil servant Olga Sheean exposes WHO’s industry bias, its denial of the science on microwave radiation and its failure to protect global health.  

The full document can also be freely downloaded at http://olgasheean.com/who-harm


http://olgasheean.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/WHO-setting-the-standard-for-a-wireless-world-of-harm.pdf

World Health Organization – Setting the Standard for a Wireless World of Harm
by Olga Sheean, 30 January 2017

To: Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization

Copied to: 
• Emilie van Deventer, PhD, Head of the International EMF Project, WHO
• António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations
• Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special UN Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
• WHO regional offices, government agencies, MPs, investigative journalists, relevant organizations, advocacy groups and scientists worldwide

The World Health Organization is failing the Earth’s citizens in the most blatant, destructive manner. In December 2016, a VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE in WHO and its EMF Project was initiated in response to the growing concerns among the millions of global citizens being harmed by radiofrequency/microwave radiation. The petition has been signed by thousands of individuals worldwide, with more adding their vote every day as they become aware of how WHO’s denial of the proven dangers has stripped them of their health, rights, livelihood, productivity and protection from their own governments. As of today, 30 January 2017, there are 2,003 names on the list (attached), with more being added daily. Details of the voting initiative are shown in appendix 3. Recognizing the significance of this growing discontent with your wilful neglect, and heeding the urgent call to protective action, are important first steps towards addressing an epidemic that threatens all forms of life on our planet. Nothing short of full implementation of the recommendations presented herein will resolve this crisis.

Radiofrequency/microwave radiation is everywhere—constantly and increasingly emanating from cell phones, WiFi routers, cell towers and telecommunications satellites. It is proliferating unchecked and people are suffering and dying because of it. Via its International EMF Project, WHO is supposed to be protecting us from the harmful effects of this radiation—radiation that we cannot see, smell or taste, even though it penetrates and affects every cell of our electromagnetic bodies.

WHO is failing to protect its global citizens from this pervasive pollutant in four key ways: 
1. industry infiltration
2. intentional ignorance
3. denial of the science
4. disregard for humanity.

This document provides details of these inexcusable failures and what urgently needs to be done to address them. It also outlines what WHO must do to reverse this destructive course—for itself and for the global citizens it is supposed to protect. One of the most crucial and urgent steps to be taken is the replacement of the head of the EMF Project, Emilie van Deventer (an electrical engineer with zero health credentials) with an independent, unbiased, medically qualified professional who has firsthand experience and knowledge of microwave sickness/ electro-sensitivity and the many other devastating consequences, such as brain cancer, neurological disorders, DNA damage and infertility.

You can no longer claim ignorance or justify any further delay. Only one question remains, and what you do next will clearly demonstrate where you stand on this issue:

Are you committed to forever debating the science, siding with industry and postponing action, or are you committed to protecting our health? 

The world is watching and we are waiting for your response.

Sincerely,
Olga Sheean
Former international civil servant, brain-tumour survivor and electro-sensitive individual

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Where there’s smoke …there’s a ‘smart’ meter

The January 24th edition of Victorian regional newspaper the Midland Express reported that a local fire brigade was called to a property after smoke started pouring out of a meter box.

Fire brigade captain Tyrone Rice said, “It appears water from a sprinkler got into the little vent of the meter box causing it to short circuit and then smoke started coming out”.

The mind boggles.  Was it a few drops of water which caused this calamity?  Or a veritable flood?

Victoria’s state-mandated rollout of smart meters to every residence and small business owner was reported as being effectively complete in 2015, although approximately 2% of customers remain without a smart meter.  Surprising (read: alarming) outcomes continue to occur at properties which received a smart meter.

meter-box-short-circuits

Posted in Smart Meter | 7 Comments

Telstra’s obligation to provide landlines may be given the flick

The Productivity Commission’s draft report on the future direction of Telstra’s “Universal Service Obligation” has recommended scrapping Australians’ right to landlines.

The Commission argues that the cost of providing landlines will no longer be justified following the completion of the NBN rollout, particularly in view of the large uptake of mobile phones.  Subsidisation of payphones also faces the chop.  The Universal Service Obligation is paid for via levies on telecommunication companies in combination with government funding.

The agreement, which was supposed to run through to 2032, places an obligation on Telstra to ensure that standard telephone services are reasonably accessible to all people in Australia on an equitable basis, wherever they live or work.  This includes services for people with a disability.

The Productivity Commission’s draft report makes NO mention of the health consequences of forcing Australians to rely on phone services provided via the nbn and mobile phone carriers. 

Five percent of Australian premises fall inside the NBN fixed wireless footprint, necessitating the erection of thousands of new base stations (towers) across rural Australia emitting pulsed microwave radiation.  In turn, subscribers’ premises must be equipped with a line-of-sight antenna to the base station.  The NBN equipment may be used for accessing voice-over-broadband as well as the internet; the downside is that this exposes subscribers to 24/7 pulsed radiation in the microwave range.  Evidently, the Commission doesn’t have a problem with this.  The alternative for people living in a fixed wireless zone will be to rely on a mobile phone service, if available.

People living in the estimated three percent of premises within the NBN satellite footprint won’t fare much better, if the Commission’s recommendations go ahead.  People using a satellite telephone connection will experience a disconcerting time lag whilst talking.  But then again, this isn’t viewed as a major problem, given that there may be scope for using a mobile phone as an alternative.

The Productivity Commission is obviously unaware of the growing numbers of Australians with electrical hypersensitivity (EHS).  These people will face difficulties living with NBN fixed wireless.  Due to their sensitivities, they also might not any longer be able to use a mobile phone, or may only be able to use one for a limited duration whilst taking precautions, such as using the phone in conjunction with an airtube headset.

The Productivity Commission is also obviously unaware that encouraging the uptake of wireless services may have serious long-term consequences for the health of the nation.

If you would like to have your say on the inquiry into the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation, there is still time.  It is very important that the Commission is made aware, in particular, of the ramifications for the growing EHS population of losing the right to have a landline in the fixed wireless and satellite footprints.  A number of people with EHS have retreated to rural areas to escape being bombarded with electro-smog; if these recommendations go through, it will further add to their isolation!

The Commission is conducting hearings during late January through to early February at various locations.  People who are unable to attend in person are also able to present evidence via teleconference at the Melbourne hearing (7 and 8 February).  The Commission’s final report is due to be forwarded to the Australian Government by 28 April 2017.

You can view Stop Smart Meters Australia’s comment on the Commission’s draft report here.

For further details on this inquiry, along with information about hearings, go to: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/telecommunications#report

Posted in Smart Meter | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments