Call to stall 5G rollout on peninsula

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Let’s wait: Mt Martha resident Judy O’Donnell wants to halt the roll-out of the 5G telecommunications service until it is proven safe. Picture: Yanni

A PUBLIC meeting in Mt Eliza on Wednesday 14 August will canvas risks associated with the impending rollout of 5G telecommunications services on the Mornington Peninsula.

“There are countries across the world, as well as states and shires, putting a stop to [5G] until it is proven to have no health risks,” organiser Judy O’Donnell said.

“We are a group of concerned peninsula residents trying to educate everyone here, too.”

“No research has proved 5G safe,” Ms O’Donnell said.

However, scientists at the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency say radio waves used by the 5G network have been “thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health”.

Those invited to the meeting include Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr David Gill, councillors, Flinders MP Greg Hunt, the shire’s natural systems and native flora and fauna teams and Landcare groups.

Ms O’Donnell said beekeepers’ associations, health food store proprietors, schools and kindergartens would all be impacted if the roll-out “is allowed to go ahead”.

“Informed people worldwide are opposing 5G for environmental and health reasons,” she said.

“5G as planned will increase radiation levels 10 to 100-fold, virtually overnight, everywhere. Basically, we will all be walking around in a microwave smog.”

Ms O’Donnell’s concerns are not shared by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, the federal government agency tasked with “protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation”.

Its scientists conduct research and work with the international radiation science community to set standards and guidelines on radiation, the body’s website says. It works independently from other parts of government and is not financed by industry.

“ARPANSA is aware that there is a lot of concerning misinformation circulating throughout the community about the possible impacts of Australia’s planned roll-out of the 5G mobile network,” it says.

“Contrary to some claims, there are no established health effects from the radio waves that the 5G network uses.

“This network currently runs on radio waves similar to those used in the current 4G network and, in the future, will use radio waves with higher frequencies. It is important to note that higher frequencies do not mean higher or more intense exposure. Higher frequency radio waves are already used in security screening units at airports, police radar guns to check speed, remote sensors and in medicine. These uses have been thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health.”

Ms O’Donnell said she first heard about electromagnetic frequency (EMF) sensitivity from friends suffering from wifi exposure. “They get headaches, fatigue, anxiety, dizziness, brain fog, sleep problems, learning and memory disorders, heart problems when in shopping centres or are around too many mobile phones,” she said.

“They have made their homes safe and protected sanctuaries to avoid it.

“If 5G is rolled out, the whole planet will be in a blanket of microwave smog. We can choose to turn off our mobile phones, wifi routers and TVs, but we can’t turn off the towers which need to be placed so close together to work that they will be on bus shelters, light poles, near schools, parks and our homes – so there goes our freedom of choice and human rights.”

Ms O’Donnell said a free 5G global summit of scientists, doctors and engineers warned of adverse effects on people’s health and the environment. “The telecommunications industry has not shown it to be safe for our health or privacy and thousands of independent peer reviewed studies show the risks it presents,” she said.

“In parts of Europe where it has been rolled out bees, birds and trees are dying near towers. It is clear that this type of electromagnetic frequency is disruptive to life biologically and environmentally.”

Ms O’Donnell said “thousands of groups all over the world” are opposing it. “Some countries, such as Belgium, have blocked the rollout, saying they don’t want their citizens to be guinea pigs.

“The telecommunications industry advertises it as faster downloads and smart technology, but it is much more.  I love technology and run my businesses online, but if 5G is going to adversely affect human health and the environment, I say no.”

The Presentation, Discussion and Action meeting will be at Norwood House, 1198 Nepean Highway, 7-9pm.

First published in the Mornington News – 13 August 2019

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