The Communications Alliance (Australia) is seeking community submissions on whether to amend its Code on the deployment of mobile phone base stations (Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code).
This code sets out provisions that the telecommunications industry must comply with when siting new infrastructure, including community consultation.
You have an opportunity to make a submission till 15 May.
You can find information about the review (scroll down) here.
You can see the code itself here.
You can see EMR Australia's submission on the code review below:
Review: C564:2011 Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment regarding the review of the above Code.
I participated, as a community representative, on the committees of the Australian Communications Industry Forum and Communications Alliance that developed and amended this code and have a considerable background and interest in the evolution of this document.
In terms of whether the Code meets the needs of the community satisfactorily, there is no doubt whatsoever that it does not. At best, it allows the community to be informed of carriers’ decisions to locate telecommunications facilities in their neighbourhood. Yet it allows them no power whatsoever to influence those decisions. Mobile phone infrastructure continues to proliferate in locations that expose the general public, including pregnant women, young children, the sick and sensitive, to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields – and the code offers them no relief. However, there is no likelihood an amendment of the code will improve this situation, as long as the committee in question continues to be dominated by the telecommunications industry with only a minority of community representatives speaking up for the exposed masses.
In terms of the expected impacts of technology change, it is likely that the introduction of fifth generation technology will lead to the proliferation of yet more radiating infrastructure. It is vital that these antennas not be classified as ‘Low RF Power’ and thus exempted from the consultation process.
The only way that a revised code could truly benefit the community would be for it to be drafted by community representatives, with the industry itself contributing only technical input, but having no voting rights.
As long as the code continues to be drafted by the communications industry itself, the community can have little confidence that its needs and wishes will be met and the amendment process is likely to be of little benefit.Yours faithfully