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 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:





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.

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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


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.

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

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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.


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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

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Health risks of mobile phones: what we don’t know might be killing us | The Age

Are mobile phones the new cigarettes? Will we discover that the telecommunication industry, like the tobacco industry, has dismissed evidence that their product can kill us? Most Australians own a mobile phone. As we increasingly use our mobiles, evidence is trickling in about their potential for negative physical, psychological and financial consequences. These studies rarely make a blip on the radar.

Ten years ago, when seven people working at RMIT were diagnosed with brain tumours, a Telstra spokesperson was quick to reassure us that there was “no evidence” of a link between mobile phones and cancer.  On the contrary. Although research was in its infancy, there was evidence of a possible relationship between mobile phone use and brain cancers, particularly gliomas, acoustic neuromas and parotid gland tumours. These earlier studies showed an increased risk for malignant brain tumours among the heavier mobile phone users, particularly when it was used mostly on one side of the head.

In 2016, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer described mobile phones as a potential carcinogen. Yet the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association adamantly rejects any claim that low-energy radiation from mobile phones has any detrimental health effects.

Most studies compare the mobile phone use of people who have cancer with those who don’t.  These studies rely on people remembering how often and for how long they used their mobile phone in the past. The largest case-control study to date is the Interphone study. It included more than 5000 people with head and neck cancer from 13 countries, including Australia. Like research funded by the tobacco industry, the Interphone study claimed complete scientific independence despite receiving partial funding from the telecommunication industry. 

A friend was a participant in the Interphone study. A researcher interviewed her soon after the removal of her brain tumour. She was asked the brand, model, shape, size and level of radioactivity of her first mobile phone and how often she used it. Not surprisingly, she could not remember. Who could?

There is concern that children may be more vulnerable to any effects due to their developing nervous systems, thinner skulls and increased cumulative exposure over their lifetime. The World Health Organisation has ranked the effects of mobile phones on children and adolescents as a “highest priority research need”. To date there have been two studies focusing on childhood cancers and mobile phone use. One has reported no association; the other, “Study of cognition, adolescents and mobile phones” (Scamp) is ongoing.

Several scientific journals no longer publish potentially biased studies that are funded by the tobacco industry. These same standards should apply to research paid for by the telecommunication industry. We need independent research so that we can all know the risks when we pick up our phone.

Sarah Russell, Principal Researcher at Research Matters

Abridged from The Age

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I Am an EMF Refugee….

I can feel Wi-Fi.

And power lines. And smart phones. And electric heat. And LED lights. But, before you get too excited about my real-life “Spidey sense,” let me warn you, it does not feel good. And I didn’t always possess this extrasensory perceptive power.

I was a New York City media maven for 15 years. I strode into dazzling skyscrapers with Don Draper and Peggy Olson wannabes. I clinked glasses of dirty vodka martinis with beat reporters and fedora-wearing publishers. I dwelled in an overpriced studio on Manhattan’s sublime West 57th Street. I stressed over deadlines, sipped wine on rooftops and hopped subways in heels — all with a sparkling, enchanting metropolis of international envy to call my home.

And of course, I had all the digital toys to accompany this persona: A creative director’s dream of a Mac computer system, the smartest smart phone of the moment, the fastest of the fast wireless networks, the streaming tunes, the apps for that, the iEverythings and the incessant surge of digital pings directing and announcing my every move.

That was my life until a few years ago. And now, I am an EMF Refugee.

I wander in exodus seeking asylum from a fierce and escalating worldwide storm of artificial and damaging electromagnetic fields (EMFs). I’m a fugitive on the run from wireless frequencies. I’m an émigré fleeing persecution from dirty electricity. I have relinquished any concept of possession, ownership or permanent residence, ready to pack up and escape for my safety on a moment’s notice. But in a world now filled with overlapping, omnipresent radiofrequency and pulsed microwave technologies, where exactly should I flee? Where is it safe? That is always the question. And there isn’t always an answer.

With my bank account drained from decades of undiagnosed illness and failed medical intervention, I must rely on the kindness of friends and strangers to grant me temporary safe haven — to disable their Wi-Fi, to unplug their cordless phones, even sometimes to shut down their energy-efficient electronics or entire circuit systems — just so I can sleep, so I can eat, so I can rest, so I can work, so I can think, so I might possibly heal. And then, inevitably, energy forces me to move again.

So how does a Notre Dame alumna, the editor-in-chief of the 2000 Dome, who graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with an astounding network of friends and loved ones, wind up as an EMF refugee? Quite simply: It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population suffers from a very modern, very real, yet controversial physiological condition known as electro-hypersensitivity (EHS). I am now one of them.

People always want to prove me wrong. Some have covertly turned on their Wi-Fi routers in my presence, just to see if I can feel it, when I don’t know it’s transmitting. Guess what? I can feel it. I always do. And they’re always astonished. But that’s not a fun parlor game for me.

People like to prove the science wrong, too. They call out “non-specific symptoms.” They cherry-pick the data. They call EHS a “nocebo” that is leading people to feel ill because they think they have been exposed to something that might sicken them. But I challenge those doubters to delve into the published research.

“But what does it feel like?” This is the most popular question I’ve been asked in the last three years. In a nutshell — it feels like unremitting, wired, electrified torture. It feels like I am fused with a force field, that I’m no longer human but part of a circuit. It feels like my body is pulsating to an artificial frequency. If I were to check off some boxes in a physician’s waiting room, my symptom list would include numbness, tingling, muscle twitching, vertigo, loss of balance, pressurized headaches, spinal pain, rashes, insomnia, memory lapses, cognitive dysfunction, altered heart rate, tinnitus, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress and urological spasms — just for starters.

Alison Main

See full article at: Notre Dame Magazine

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Modern life is killing our children – 40% increase in childhood cancer!

Sarah Knapton, the science editor of UK’s The Telegraph reported that the cancer rate in young people has risen 40% in 16 years.  She lays the blame on air pollution, pesticides, poor diets and a rise in electrical and magnetic fields.  [Lucky for Sarah that she doesn’t work for ABC’s Catalyst program or she’d be severely censured for expressing such a view.]

Dr Denis Henshaw, Professor of Human Radiation Effects at Bristol University, the scientific adviser for Children with Cancer UK, listed magnetic fields from power lines, gadgets in homes, and potentially, radiation from mobile phones among the likely culprits.

“When you look at cancers such as childhood leukaemia there is no doubt that environmental factors are playing a big role,” said Dr Henshaw. “We were shocked to see the figures, and it’s modern lifestyle I’m afraid.”

“…….electric fields of power lines, the electricity supply in your home. Hairdryers. It’s all of these things coming together, and it seems to be teenagers and young people that are most affected.

More than 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Britain, and cancer is the leading cause of death in children aged one to 14.

Diagnoses of colon cancer among children and young people has risen 200 per cent since 1998, while thyroid cancer has doubled. Ovarian and cervical cancers have also risen by 70 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

It is estimated that the rise in cases now costs the National Health System an extra £130 million a year compared with 16 years ago.

Nicola Smith, Cancer Research UK’s senior health information officer, said: “There are some factors which can increase the risk of childhood cancer like inherited genetic conditions and exposure to radiation – but these are usually not avoidable and no one should feel blamed for a child getting cancer.

Kate Lee, chief executive of children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, said that a child cancer diagnosis places a huge emotional and financial burden on the whole family.

Despite the increase, around 80 per cent of child cancer patients now survive for at least five years. But the aggressive treatments they have as children can have a major impact on their future health, even if they survive.

Abridged from The Telegraph

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