The Australian Government regulates public exposure to electromagnetic emissions (EME) from communications equipment such as mobile towers, including 5G deployments.
Exposure to EME is both an important health issue and a highly technical area. For this reason, governments appropriately rely on the advice of their scientific and technical regulators.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the expert body on the health effects from EME produced by communications equipment and other sources.
Once ARPANSA set an EME safety limit, these safeguards are then incorporated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) into transmitter licence conditions that apply to mobile and other operators that use the radiofrequency spectrum. The ACMA is the regulator responsible for managing the radiofrequency spectrum, but the ACMA is not an expert body on the health effects of human exposure to EME.
Before building new mobile phone base stations, mobile phone companies must generally:
- Consult with communities (the Communications Alliance industry code C564:2011 Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment)
- Produce an environmental EME report—the reports are published at the Radio Frequency National Site Archive.
If you have questions or concerns about the adequacy of the ARPANSA limits, in minimising potential human health effects, including in relation to 5G, I recommend that you contact ARPANSA on 1800 022 333. ARPANSA do offer opportunities for members of the public to speak directly with their scientists.
More information from ARPSANA can also be found here.
I note the concerns you have expressed, and this feedback will be used to inform future consideration and scrutiny of these issues through the Parliament.