The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts’ report, entitled The next gen future: Inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia, was presented to Parliament on 12 May 2020.
The chair of the Committee, Hon Dr David Gillespie MP, enthusiastically opined in his address to Parliament (Hansard, pp. 44-45) that “This report is an excellent report”, going on to say that “It establishes that 5G is coming and it’s going to revolutionise so many parts of industry”. Dr Gillespie asserted that 5G is safe technology, dismissing “the concerns by some people in the community” as having “been influenced by misinformation about the technology”.
As foreshadowed by the Australian Government’s decision in December 2019 to establish a new community information campaign on 5G, the Committee’s report fails to give any credence – whatsoever – to concerns voiced by the majority of the inquiry participants about the wisdom of hurtling down a path that clearly offers no assurances of safety.
Instead the report’s recommendations focus on facilitating an early uptake of 5G technology.
Recommendations 10 and 11 reflect the Committee’s blinkered view that “Better communication of 5G mobile technology is essential to help dispel some of the myths that exist around 5G”. The report contends that “The communication of the reality of 5G has been neglected, however, allowing fears over health and safety, the technology involved and the application of 5G to take hold. Misinformation has filled the vacuum and public confidence in 5G has been shaken”.
ARPANSA is called upon to implement a mechanism to consult with members of the community in regard to safe levels of electromagnetic radiation. The Committee also recommends that the Australian Government work closely with the ACMA to develop a campaign that can respond to concerns about 5G.
Recommendation 14 calls on the Australian Government to work with carriers to develop campaigns to boost industry awareness about the advantages of 5G to businesses to help realise the benefits quickly. The Committee stipulates that the campaign should also lift 5G awareness within local government.
The Committee acknowledged that it accepted a “large number of submissions which solely addressed concerns over how the deployment of 5G may affect human health”. However, it stated that, “As the Committee is not a health committee, it was limited in its ability to investigate this issue fully”. Nevertheless, the report claims that, “The Committee sought to inform itself about this issue…”.
The assertion by the Committee that it sought to inform itself about potential health risks stretches credulity, as illustrated in SSMA’s posts entitled Inquiry into 5G in Australia: Misinformation by whom? and Federal Government announces $9 million splurge to ‘build public confidence’ in 5G safety.
Sadly, it appears that the government has been blindsided, yet again, by industry interests.
SSMA website followers who are residents or citizens of Australia may wish to sign an e-petition to the House of Representatives calling for the House to suspend further implementation of the 5G network and an inquiry into its potential health risks. The petition asks that the number of Australians opposed to the deployment of 5G be taken into consideration.
The petition can be accessed at: https://www.aph.gov.au/petition_list?id=EN1490
The closing date for signatures is 10 June 2020.
Note that after signing the petition an email with a link will be sent to you. The link must be clicked within eight hours in order for your signature to be valid.