A national disgrace – Federal Government squandering $29 million on 5G JobMaker Digital Business Plan

The Government’s 2020-21 budget heralded its goal of Australia becoming a ‘leading digital economy by 2030’ with funding of $29.2 million promised to accelerate the rollout of 5G networks across Australia.  Following on from this, round one for what has been coined ‘the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative’ has made $10 million available to Australian businesses to trial commercial uses of 5G technology, as part of the JobMaker Digital Business Plan.

In late 2020, the Government made a show of seeking feedback on the design of the initial round of largesse for this initiative.  Over one third of the published responses raised serious issues concerning the rollout of 5G.  In addition, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ webpage on the consultation states that 53 confidential submissions were received, ‘largely from individuals concerned about electromagnetic energy (EME)’.

Despite the majority of submissions raising concerns, it seems that the Federal Government has once again turned a tin ear to the problematical matters raised by the public around 5G.

This is hardly surprising, considering that Paul Fletcher MP, a former Optus executive, is the incumbent Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts.  In a media release earlier this month Fletcher states that ‘the Initiative will encourage more rapid deployment of 5G technology and create real productivity benefits for the Australian economy’.

Undoubtedly, the splurge of cash will grease the spread of 5G although, perversely, it’s been recognised that globally, the rate of economic growth has stagnated with the growth of digital technologies.  Moreover, what will be the cost to the planet and people because of this initiative?

The Government’s blurb on the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative contains what appears to be glaring misrepresentations of facts.  For instance, on its What is 5G? webpage it states that 5G uses less energy.  Its failure to put this claim into context calls into question both the Government’s integrity and its grasp of the technology.  Whilst 5G uses less energy than 4G to transmit the same data, it requires what is expected to be millions of new antennas to be used with billions of 5G-compatible devices.  Miguel Coma, an engineer in telecommunications and an Information Technology architect, explained in an opinion piece for the Wall Street International Magazine how 5G will lead to soaring energy demands.

The Shift Project, a French think tank that advocates for transition to a carbon-free economy, stated in a report entitled ‘Lean ICT [information and communication technologies]: Towards Digital Sobriety’ that digital overconsumption is not sustainable in regard to its need for energy and raw materials.  Blame for the rapidly expanding energy footprint of digital technologies is squarely attributed to high income countries.  The report calls for governments and companies to adopt digital sobriety as a principle of action – buying the least powerful devices possible and changing them as little as possible, in order to reduce unnecessary energy-intensive uses.  How ironic that the Government is, on one hand, mouthing the need for energy efficiency whilst, on the other hand, splurging taxpayers’ funds on an initiative that is likely to result in the opposite outcome.

On the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ webpage entitled What is EME?, the Government continues in its quest to spread false information. For instance, this webpage states that ‘The EME [electromagnetic energy] in telecommunications uses energy levels that are too weak to cause harm’. It beggars belief that the Government is not aware of the very large body of studies that challenge this claim. Its subsequent claim that ‘In fact, in the case of 5G, the EME from 5G devices cannot even penetrate skin’ once more reveals its woeful lack of awareness.  As scientists and researchers at the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (ORSAA) pointed out in its letter to councils regarding 5G, very little research has been done so far on the health effects of millimetre waves to be used in the second phase of 5G (6 to 86 GHz).  However, what research has been done shows that adverse outcomes include the potential for effects on ‘eyes (including cataracts), heart rate, immune system and DNA’ as well as ‘harm to the largest organ of the body, the skin, with the possibility of permanent tissue damage’.  Brillouin precursors (very fast pulses of radiation which can penetrate much deeper than predicted by conventional models) may also be induced in the human body.

How much better would it be for the planet and the nation if, instead of squandering $29.2 million on 5G, the Federal Government were to seek initiatives that expand wired technology solutions – in addition to encouraging businesses and Australians to curb frivolous usage of technology.

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Is Wi-Fi Sickness a Disability? California Appellate Court Holds That It Is Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

Is Wi-Fi sickness a disability? The California Court of Appeal just said it is in Brown v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2d Dist., Div. Eight), Case No. B294240. In a case that tests the limits of California’s liberal pleading standard, the appellate court green-lighted a claim of a woman who asserted a disability of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” or, as the concurring justice put it, “Wi-Fi sickness.”

The trial court had sustained a demurrer, granting judgment for the employer, a school district. The appellate court revived the plaintiff’s claim for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.

The court acknowledged that it is likely the first to recognize Wi-Fi sickness as a disability under laws against discrimination. In fact, the court discussed contrary federal court authority, distinguishing those cases by concluding that the definition of “disability” in California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act is broader than in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Apart from the holding that Wi-Fi sickness is a disability under FEHA, California employers should take note of the facts alleged about the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.

After the school district installed a new Wi-Fi system, the plaintiff teacher complained of headaches and other symptoms caused by exposure to the electromagnetic waves. The school district initially tried to accommodate the teacher by turning off the Wi-Fi in her classroom and an adjacent one. The teacher said that her symptoms persisted and asked for additional accommodations. By that point, the school district’s consultant had reported that the Wi-Fi and radio frequencies at the school “evidenced a safe and non-hazardous working environment.” Based on that report, the school district did not grant any further accommodation, and the teacher sued.

Source: Lexology

SSMA notes that the California court’s decision was based on evidence of a physical disability rather than a verdict that EHS is a disability in itself.  Australia is fortunate that its legislation, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, provides a very broad definition of disability.  It states that the definition of a disability includes the malfunction of a part of a person’s body, as well as a disorder that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or which results in disturbed behaviour.  It also includes a disability that presently exists, previously existed or may exist in the future.  The Act specifically states that, “To avoid doubt, a disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability”.

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ORSAA | Important information for councils regarding 5G

Scientists and researchers from the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (ORSAA) have created a letter for local councils that provides a general overview of the science around proposed 5G technology.  Anybody is free to use this letter in their local area.

ORSAA is the only independent scientific organisation in the Australia-New Zealand region investigating the health risks of low-intensity radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR).  Towards this end, ORSAA has established the world’s largest freely available categorised database of peer-reviewed scientific research on radiofrequency RF-EMR biological/health effects.

The letter points out that the weight of evidence clearly demonstrates that exposure to wireless technologies has ‘significant effects on humans, animals and plants’.  Objective searches of the ORSAA database reveal that 68% of scientific papers show significant biological or health effects.

ORSAA highlights that although there is a large volume of scientific studies showing clear health risks with the frequencies used in the first phase of 5G deployment, little research has been done to-date on the health effects of the frequencies (6 – 86 GHz) to be used in the second phase.  However, current known effects of these waves include the possibility of permanent skin tissue damage, effects on eyes, heart rate, immune system and DNA, and the potential for Brillouin precursors to be induced in humans, thereby generating a burst of energy that can penetrate much deeper than what is predicted by conventional models used for standard setting.

ORSAA recommends that councils consider what is in the balance, and their responsibility to protect people and the environment.

SSMA urges followers to provide this letter to their own local councillors.

To access and read the letter in full, go here

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2020 Consensus Statement of UK and International Medical and Scientific Experts and Practitioners on Health Effects of Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR)

All concerned citizens are now able to sign the 2020 Consensus Statement on health effects of non-ionising radiation.

The statement reflects the consensus from the most recent, independent, expert global forums on the acute and chronic health effects resulting from Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR).

The statement clarifies the medical community’s serious concerns surrounding the deployment of 5G and the continued use of RFR in public spaces.

Urgent action is required to protect the health of humans and wildlife.

Public Health Crisis:

  1. RFR has been proven to damage biological systems at intensities below ICNIRP* guidelines.
  2. Public exposure to RFR is already harmful and will rise with the deployment of 5G.
  3. Exposure is unavoidable, contravening the Human Rights Act for those who do not consent.
  4. Multiple international governmental health advisory groups are biased by conflicts of interest.
*ICNIRP: International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection

Required Urgent Actions:

  1. Immediate moratorium on 5G, wireless smart metering and any other new RF emissions.
  2. Establishment of public safety limits to be biologically protective against adverse health effects.
  3. Withdrawal of Wi-fi, wireless phone and other RFR emissions from within / near all schools.
  4. Designation of low EMR* areas to protect those who are unwell or do not consent to exposure.
  5. Education programmes to inform medical professionals on EMR related illnesses / effects.
  6. A zero tolerance approach to industrial influence on public health policy and assured exclusion of those with conflicts of interest from official advisory bodies.
*EMR: Electromagnetic Radiation

To read the Statement in full, view signatories and sign, go to: https://phiremedical.org/2020-nir-consensus-statement-read/

Please circulate the Consensus Statement widely, in particular to medical doctors and scientists.

A press release is available here, for distribution.

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EHS sufferers: Have your say on access to buildings review

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is reviewing the Disability (Access to Premises – Building) Standards 2010.  These standards are reviewed every five years.  The goal of the Premises Standards is to ensure that people with a disability and their family members, carers and friends have equal access to public buildings.  The standards apply to new buildings, renovations on buildings and could apply to existing buildings.  Common areas in apartment buildings are also subject to the standards.

The current Premises Standards make NO provision for people who are electrically sensitive. 

Australia is fortunate to have a Disability Discrimination Act which has adopted a very broad definition of disability.  This underlying legislation lays the foundation for ready acceptance of environmental sensitivities; however, its provisions have FAILED to flow through into standards, such as the Disability (Access to Premises – Building) Standards 2010.

We need as many people as possible who have experienced difficulties in accessing public buildings due to their sensitivities to participate in this review.

If you have electrical hypersensitivity (EHS), or you are a carer for a child or parent who has suffered from electromagnetic radiation overload in public buildings, please give feedback.  The object of the Premises Standards is to provide people with disability dignified, equitable, cost-effective and reasonably achievable access to buildings, and facilities and services within buildings.

As the Premises Standards Review Team is not familiar with the causes or symptoms of EHS, make sure you explain the triggers within buildings that lead to symptoms, what you experience and how builders might modify public buildings in order to prevent these symptoms.

There are three optional questions that the Review Team would like you to think about before having your say; alternatively, you can make a general comment.

There are a variety of ways that you can do this.  You can complete an online survey or just upload a file (including a video, audio, image or written submission), or submit by mail.  Alternatively, you can make a time to provide your submission by phone.  Your submission can be confidential.

We need our schools, libraries, hospitals and other public buildings to be accessible to people living with EHS.  The spin-off is that it will also make these places safer for people who have yet to experience EMF-overload!

The link for providing feedback to the review is: https://consult.industry.gov.au/premises-standards-review-team/2020-premises-standards-review-discovery/

The review closes on 30 November 2020.

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Petition | Allow Victorians to have communications disabled on smart meters!

The Victorian Labor government has yet again dudded electricity customers.  Victorians have not only had to live with the consequences of a mandated rollout of smart meters that was ill-conceived from its very start, now they are being denied the right to participate in the national Competition in Metering rule.

This means that there are NO plans in place for Victorians with an existing electricity smart meter to be entitled to have their meter’s pulsed microwave transmissions disabled, as is the case with customers in NSW, Qld, Tas, SA and the ACT.

Earlier this year, the Labor Government quietly reneged on its intention to allow Victorians to participate in the Power of Choice electricity framework in 2021, as was originally flagged.  The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), which is responsible for metering policy in Victoria, now states on its Smart Meters webpage that ‘electricity metering will remain non-contestable based on current conditions in Victoria’.

DELWP claims this decision was based on the outcome of a consultation undertaken by KPMG in 2019 that undertook ‘extensive stakeholder engagement’ and which found that ‘introducing contestability at this time is unlikely to unlock unrealised benefits to consumers and may diminish some of the benefits that have been realised’.  In its usual opaque fashion, DELWP has failed to provide on its website the actual report from KPMG which came to this conclusion.  DELWP has also yet to respond to a letter from SSMA which was emailed in July requesting either the relevant link or a PDF copy of the findings that were presented to DELWP.

In view of this appalling state of affairs, SSMA urges Victorian residents to sign an e-petition to the Upper House of Victoria calling on the Energy Minister and DELWP to put in place such amendments that will allow Victorians to have radiofrequency communications on an installed smart meter deactivated. 


The author of the petition, Maureen, has had her health severely impacted by pulsed emissions from smart meters.  She has been valiantly trying to get an exemption from the Victorian Government’s requirement that all smart meters must be capable of being remotely read, to no avail.  Her medical certificate has been ignored.  SSMA is aware of other Victorians who are in the same position. 

Please show your support for Maureen and other Victorians who find themselves in the same unfortunate position by sharing the petition link widely across social media and urging others to also sign. The petition is open to all Victorian residents.

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Amazon’s Vector power smart meter deal puts ‘how you live your life’ on web giant’s servers | ABC News

Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of the world’s biggest retailer, and New Zealand power grid owner, Vector, have joined forces to analyse, share and monetise data generated by more than 1.6 million smart meters across Australia and New Zealand.

The alliance will use data from the internet-connected smart meters to gather information on consumers’ consumption and network performance.

According to a recent ABC News report ‘The data goes far beyond how much power you use in a certain time of day — revealing things like the number of televisions you have, the age of your fridge and other appliances, and the number of people in your home’.

Almost every home in Victoria is connected to smart meters, part of a program that cost consumers $2 billion and, when reviewed by the Auditor-General, was found to provide almost “no benefit”.

Kaspar Kaarlep, co-founder of power technology company WePower is quoted by ABC business reporter, Daniel Ziffer, as stating that ‘greater consumer protections in Europe mean this deal would not be legal there’. Kaarlep likens the alliance to the City of Melbourne selling access to all of its CCTV cameras to Amazon … to develop new products and services. ‘When do I come home? When do I leave? What do I have at my home? Who do I live with? This is all visible in that data.’

CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre, Lauren Solomon, adds, ‘We actually can’t really tell what data’s being collected, who it’s being shared with and what it’s being used for’.

To read the ABC report in full, go to Amazon’s Vector power smart meter deal puts ‘how you live your life’ on web giant’s servers

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Four Corners report on 5G breaches ABC’s Code of Practice

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) appears to have sunk to a new low in journalistic standards in its recent report on 5G.

The 45-minute ABC Four Corners episode, titled ‘The Truth about 5G’, which was aired on 3 August 2020, claimed to be investigating ‘the rise of the anti-5G movement and the spread of wild conspiracy theories tying the COVID-19 pandemic to the 5G rollout’.

Oddly, despite the purported object of its investigation, the Four Corners report didn’t reveal a single Australian anti-5G activist blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on 5G.  SSMA asks if the focus on ‘wild conspiracy theories’ is another media beat-up big on sensationalism – and short on facts?  

The only, albeit tenuous, connection that Four Corners managed to elicit was the less than earth-shattering observation, from registered nurse Naomi Cook, that the explosion in anti-5G Facebook members during the pandemic is because people have more time to think, research and ask questions.

However, Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications and Cyber Safety, appears to be a dyed-in-the-wool subscriber to 5G conspiracy theories.  Four Corners reports him as stating in relation to 5G that ‘it is well accepted by commentators and experts in the subject of misinformation and disinformation that there are known State actors involved in circulating and generating disinformation’.

Given that the Four Corners’ investigation didn’t flush out any Australian anti-5G activists blaming the pandemic on 5G, how did the ‘truth about 5G’, and Four Corners’ claim to be ‘examining the scientific studies undertaken into whether the technology is actually a threat to our health’ fare?

Sadly, Four Corners did not see fit to interview a single one of the many scientists who has researched the health risks of wireless electromagnetic radiation and considers it NOT to be safe.

This shows a blatant disregard for Standard 4.2 in the ABC’s Code of Practice, which places a requirement to ‘Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or  disproportionately represented’.

Instead, the ABC’s audience was presented with a paltry band of pro-5G so-called experts. These included Prof Rodney Croft, a psychology researcher with a distinct lack of bio-medical qualifications; interestingly, Four Corners reporter, Sean Nicholls, made no mention of Croft’s field of expertise and instead appeared to be overawed by Croft’s position as Chairman of ICNIRP – a dubious private organisation that lacks accountability.

Prof Malcolm Sim, Director, Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, was also called upon, in relation to the WHO’s classification of radiofrequency radiation as a possible human carcinogen, back in 2011.  However, significant research has been undertaken since 2011 and the evidence on human cancer risks from radiofrequency radiation has strengthened.  A number of scientists consider that there is now a compelling case for upgrading the Group 2B classification to the highest category – to that of Group 1, a human carcinogen.

But again, Four Corners made no attempt to inquire into the current science in regard to the status of radiofrequency radiation and seemed to be content with relaying out-of-date information.

This appears to be a direct breach of Standard 2.1, which requires journalists to ‘Make reasonable efforts to ensure that material facts are accurate and presented in context’.

Rather than adhering to the ABC’s stated aim of being ‘Brave in reporting without fear or favour, even when that might be uncomfortable or unpopular’, it seems Four Corners has kowtowed to government and industry interests – at the expense of its obligations to the Australian people.

In view of the dismal quality of the Four Corners investigation into 5G, SSMA urges any followers who find this concerning to consider placing a complaint with the ABC.  The relevant Standard of the Code of Practice which you believe may have been breached should be specified.

Complaints can be made within six weeks of the date of broadcast either to the ABC’s online Complaint Form or by writing to:

Audience and Consumer Affairs
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
GPO Box 9994, in the capital city of your State or Territory

Details of what should be contained in your complaint are outlined in the section titled ‘How to make a complaint’, at the end of the Code.  As mentioned in this section, if you are dissatisfied with the ABC’s response, or if you have not received a response within 60 days of making your complaint to the ABC, then you are entitled to complain to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA).

To view The Truth about 5G, or to access the transcript of the episode, go here

A rebuttal of the program is available here.

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Scientists and medical doctors raise concerns about 5G deployment in Australia and New Zealand

A letter published in Radiation Protection in Australasia, the journal of the Australasian Radiation Protection Society, asserts that Australia and New Zealand are rushing ahead with 5G without addressing safety concerns.

Ten Australian and New Zealand scientists and medical doctors have authored the letter, entitled Serious Safety Concerns about 5G Wireless Deployment in Australia and New Zealand.

The writers point out that 5G carrier waves are higher frequency wavelengths that have been hitherto used in limited applications such as radar and non-lethal weapons; 5G involves extremely complex modulation patterns that form novel exposures; 5G beam formation characteristics can produce hotspots of high unknown intensities, and that millions of additional transmitters will greatly increase human exposure.

The authors of the letter urge the Australasian Radiation Protection Society (ARPS) to take an active role in the investigation of non-thermal and chronic effects that are not being addressed in current guidelines.  The writers state that they find it ‘intriguing’ that the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has made a health risks assessment about 5G in a public information sheet without involving medical expertise.  It is pointed out that health risk evaluation in New Zealand of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) has also been undertaken without medical expertise.

Statements attributed to Dr Ken Karipidis, Assistant Director of ARPANSA’s Assessment and Advice Section, in an article advising Australian doctors about 5G health concerns, also come under scrutiny.  The authors request ARPANSA to provide details of its research that found this to be more of ‘a psychological issue than a cause of genuine harm’ as claimed by Dr Karipidis. Similarly, the writers have requested that ARPANSA produce scientific evidence from peer-reviewed literature that supports its claim in Misinformation about Australia’s 5G network that thorough testing of security screening units at airports, police radar guns, and remote sensors used in medicine has been conducted and found to have no negative impacts on human health.  Investigation by the scientists and medical professionals who have authored the letter has found, on the contrary, concerning evidence.

A statement by Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (now Secretary of the Department of Health), Prof Brendan Murphy, wherein he declared that 5G is safe, is also called into question.  The authors request that the Department of Health supply ‘the list of studies that provide the scientific evidence for this claim of the safety of 5G’.

The absence of medical witnesses called upon to Australia’s recent parliamentary inquiry into 5G, along with the government’s announcement (in an extraordinary move prior to the completion of the inquiry) that it would allocate $9 million to ‘educate the public on 5G’, are also noted in the letter.

The authors conclude that there is strong media censorship on the issue of 5G safety in Australia and New Zealand.  They go on to say that:

The gagged situation in our region is a major blow to the evidence-based approach to health management, and science in general.  As informed scientists and clinicians, we urge an open discussion on the safety of 5G in order to protect public health.  Planetary electromagnetic pollution is already excessive and it is impacting on the health and wellbeing of life on Earth.  Therefore, the plan to deploy 30,000 satellites in space and millions of 5G transmitters on Earth without any formal health or environmental assessments is both reckless and negligent’.

To read the letter in full, go here.

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European Greens’ report calls for a new, public and fully independent non-ionising radiation advisory council

A 98-page investigative report, financed by the European Parliament’s Greens/European Free Alliance political group, concludes that the European Commission and national governments should stop funding the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  The report points out that a closed group of like-minded scientists has turned ICNIRP into a “self-indulgent science club, with a lack of bio-medical expertise, as well as a lack of scientific expertise in specific risk assessments”.

In the foreword to the report, titled The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: Conflicts of interest, corporate capture and the push for 5G, the two members of the European Parliament who commissioned the report, Michèle Rivasi (Europe Écologie) and Dr Klaus Buchner (Ökologisch-Demokratische Partei), write that:

“This report deals with an issue of which the importance cannot be overrated: the possible health effects of Radiofrequency Radiation (RfR) or electro magnetic fields (EMF); It deals more specifically with how the scientific debate has been hijacked by corporate interests from the Telecom industry.”

The members of the European Parliament go on to state that:

“We very much agree with the title and content of the latest publication on Microwave News, which reads “The Lies Must Stop, Disband ICNIRP – Facts Matter, Now More Than Ever”. There are two major casualties in this polarised debate: the truth and public health. Both are too important not to protect with all that we have. That is what we consider as our responsibility as elected politicians.”

SSMA asks, when might Australia’s politicians also take on board these sentiments and make the effort to look beyond the lies and half-truths purveyed by ICNIRP?  The health of our citizens is also being risked by blind acceptance of ICNIRP’s recommendations in the formulation of our own radiofrequency standard.  And, likewise, when will our politicians call for a halt to Australian funding of ICNIRP’s dubious activities and the establishment of a new, public and fully independent non-ionising radiation advisory council?

To read the report, go to: https://klaus-buchner.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ICNIRP-report-FINAL-19-JUNE-2020.pdf

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