Legal advice supports community right of choice & challenges electrical distributors’ misinformation

The members of the Broadmeadows Progress Association requested that the Secretary, John Rutherford, seek legal advice regarding the right of an electricity customer to refuse installation of a smart meter and the validity of the bullying tactics and threatened retribution by the power distributors.

A solicitor was approached who in turn briefed a Barrister.

Legal Advice that verifies:

  •  Customer’s right  to refuse installation of the smart meter if they wish.
  •  Threats to disconnect electricity are highly misleading.
  •  Distributors’ current bullying tactics are not consistent with the Government’s direction to employ their  “Best Endeavours”.
  •  Threat to impose fines has no basis in fact and is in violation of Clause 17 of the Electricity Distribution Code.

A copy of the legal advice can be found at: Smart Meter Legal Advice 2012

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16 Responses to Legal advice supports community right of choice & challenges electrical distributors’ misinformation

  1. jan purcell says:

    how come places like toorak have the better smart meters that cost more and its hard wire which is safer,and the towns like seaford,frankston working class areas,get the cheaper smart meters that are made in india and china,which is the soft wire and are dangerous to our health,are they trying to get rid of us,we should all have the hard wire,or at least let us have a choice,the uk have a choice,and so should we,where is the democracy?this is not the lucky country. Jan seaford vic

    • Eric says:

      Jan, do you have any further info on this ? I would be very interested to look into this. If true, tends to indicate Ted Baillieu (and mates) wouldn’t have a wireless smart meter at his place as I’m sure he wouldn’t live in a working class area

  2. Miriam. says:

    This is very clear comment from Mr White – but note there are a couple of points that he says need to be tested in a Court of Law.
    I would be willing to be a test case BUT I would need financial support to undertake legal proceedings. (I am a disability pensioner so I can argue these devices are dangerous to my health.)
    I have absolutely no intention of having any WiFi or microwave technology devices on my property as I have severe Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (I have had it for years).
    PLEASE also do not allow the power companies bully you into paying for your meter to be read. A lady from near me told me yesterday that AGL demanded $42.50 for her meter to be read.
    KEEP UP THE FIGHT – “United We Bargain, Divided We Beg”

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is valuable information. It would be good if the general media let the public know the truth. I have heard Neil Mitchell on 3AW saying we don’t have a choice. Why doesn’t he do the right thing!

    • Melbourne Mum says:

      He is obviously a sheep, as many media “personalities” are these days… too much conflict of interest going on I guess. I’m disgusted by his attitude as there are too many people suffering who apparently ‘didn’t have a choice’. But, wait yes they could have had the choice if Neil and his kind gave them the RIGHT ADVICE in the first place!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly Mr Neil Mitchelle has not done anything like enough research to understand this ongoing problem. I just found out by contacting a Top Journalist in Brisbane two days ago, that there they have gone for an entirely different type of Electric Meter which is Digital but is not a Microwave Meter, nor can it be turned into, or retrofitted to make it a Microwave Electric Meter. The Electric Meters being rolled out in Brisbane all have to be physically read by the same Meter Reader Men as they have always had, and refuse to SACK. Here in Victoria we are the Guinea Pig State, and what is being done here in Victoria is continually trying to USURP the WILL of the Victorian People.

  4. FightingBack says:

    The rebellion against the “smart meters” seems to be uniting people from a range of political persuasions, all expressing common values we share — including the right to privacy, and the right to live and thrive in healthy, safe and secure environments.
    Unless there are other motives for the meters, it is hard to understand why our government would be promoting and subsidizing “smart meters,” when safer and more secure meter alternatives are available. Former CIA Director James Woolsey even has said that on security grounds alone, the new grid design is “…a really, really stupid grid.”
    Read more here –

    • 1vimana1 says:

      To Fighting Back,
      It’s simple really, the motives for for the Smart Meters is purely a PROFIT DRIVEN MOTIVE. As far as health and safety concerns go, this Victorian Liberal Party just like the past Victorian Labour Party who only cared about making oddles of money by hitting already cash strapped Victorian Electricity Customers in their pockets when the Roll-Out of these now proving to be Deadly to All Life Electric Microwave Smart Meters began in the John Brumby Victorian Labour Government era.

      It seems strange that Mr Michael O’Brien the incumbend Victorian Minister for Power was all against these Microwave so-called Smart Meters when his Liberal Party was the opposition party. Then he ranted and raved against the Microwave Smart Meters, but now that his party is in power, he thinks that the Electric Smart Meters are the best things since. ” Slided Bread.” Strange, that ‘ warped attitude ‘ of his. Methinks that he just might be getting possible “Kick-backs,” I stress the word Possible !

      Now I and thousands or us Victorians who are not easily duped believe that Mr Michael O’Brien should do the right thing and RESIGN from office as he is neither a FIT or Proper Individual to represent this office. He didn’t even have the GUTS to meet our very concerned party of polite people back in March 2012. Where was he when we arrived to meet him ?

  5. Peter says:

    Very good information from the Broadmeadows Progress association. Many thanks for making this legal advise available on this site.

    So, where does this leave O’Brien, who has consistently maintained that these devices are, ‘compulsory’, ‘they are to be installed in every Victorian home and small business by the end of 2013’, ‘no, you cannot refuse the installation of these devices’?

    Where does it leave the distributors who have made the same statements and threatened to cut off electricity, they have also intimidated their customers by stating that ‘there is a clear and precise procedure to disconnect a customer who continues to refuse one of these devices, there certainly is a procedure, but it is far from what they are suggesting!

    The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007 – Sect 68, makes it quite clear that it is an offence to give false or misleading information to the ESC or any person exercising powers under this act, yet the ESC, the DPI and the distributors can give false and misleading information to the people of Victoria.

    Taking legal action against the government would be impractical, they have made sure there are laws which protect them from legal action, and the most recent ensures that complaints against a member of parliament are handled in the first instance, by the members themselves. If action is taken; they will simply use tax payers’ money to defend themselves against the very people who are bringing the charges. As this is a ‘business lead roll-out’, the polies have washed their hands of how the roll-out is achieved. In my opinion, the culprits in this fiasco are first and foremost, the distributors; who have gone way beyond their best endeavors, so it is their obligation to justify their heavy handed tactics.

    Further more, according to this advice, if one of these devices has been installed against the wishes of the customer, then there is no reason why a customer cannot demand the reinstallation of their old analogue meter, on the basis it was installed because the customer was given false information.

    The distributors are going to have a lot of explaining to do!

  6. EJ says:

    Appreciative of the information. Bring the referendum on we say!

  7. Terry says:

    Welcome news indeed. How can we instigate a referendum? Bailleau got into power by basically misleading voters on things he would change if elected, I.E. Smart meters, Speed Cameras, Desalination Plant, Myki, Public Transport plus others. I think he will rue the day and that day can’t come soon enough. I for one am totally sick of being mislead and lied to by politicians of every ilk. All they are interested in is getting in to power and will lie and cheat and sell their grandmothers into slavery to remain there. It’s the old “Stuff you jack I’m OK syndrome” and I’m Jack of that. Who agrees???

  8. Informed Choice says:

    That is welcome news – thanks! Should put a lot of peoples minds at ease and spur them on to fight hard to retain their current meter knowing there are no laws being broken (by customers at least!) This government had better smarten up regarding what is in the interests of the public… time for a referendum.

    • Peter says:

      I agree with a referendum on the AMI rollout, but Victorians MUST be made FULLY aware of the intentions of these devices, including, DIRECT LOAD CONTROL and DIRECT RESPONSE ENABLING DEVICES.
      They should also have access to the cost to the industry of this roll out and what profit margins are being applied. It seems that the industry does not have to tell anyone how much they are actually paying for ‘smart meters’, according to one industry document, they claim that these devices cost from $37; depending on type and distrbutor. Where are the receipts for these devices that show what the distributors actually paid, when bulk buying them ? there are some suggetions that they pay as little as $4, if that is correct, then the industry is making a profit of, from, $33/ device! (X that by 2.5 MILLION) This goes for all the other ‘bits and pieces’ that the customer is paying for. (But will never own!)
      In my opinion, there HAS to be a thorough investigation into this rip off, and ALL the facts made public!

      • 1vimana1 says:

        This Victorian Liberal Party Government should be dragged kicking and screaming into Court and made to account for every red cent they stole from us the Victorian People for their MADNESS of continuing the Roll Out of this Hair-Brained Microwave Smart Metering Scheme which they soundly condemned the past Labour Government for.

        The impression most Victorian got from the Slippery Ted Baillieu Leader was that they the Liberals would get rid of the as they called it, ” Poorly thought out Microwave Meter Scheme when they came into office.” Mr Michael O’ Brien the then Shadow Minister ranted against the ‘ So called Smart Meter Scheme then, loud and long from his Opposition PULPIT in the then Liberal and opposition party. Sadly when his Victorian Liberal Party Government got into office he showed his True Colours and Total Hypocracy by embracing this Mad Scheme. We the Victorian People must never trust this weak and Vascillating man again.

    • 1vimana1 says:

      I say,
      Never vote for Labour or Liberal again folks, try the D.L.P they promise to knock the Smart Meters Dead, which is stop stop the roll-out. Why not ask the D.L.P to get the stolen Analogue Meters reinstalled with the cost being made to be borne by these Electric Power Companies ?

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