5G rolled out despite fears

Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Smart, Telstra Regional General Manager Boyd Brown and VAsse MLA Libby Mettam demonstrate their 5G devices
Camera IconBusselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Smart, Telstra Regional General Manager Boyd Brown and VAsse MLA Libby Mettam demonstrate their 5G devices Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

Busselton was the first WA regional centre to be connected to the Telstra 5G cellular network last week.

The two telecommunications sites are at Port Geographe Marina and Prince Street, covering the majority of the CBD.

Telstra Regional general manager Boyd Brown said it was the first important step towards the 5G future.

Mr Brown said the introduction of 5G capacity was the “latest mobile technology”.

“It is really exciting Busselton is among one of the first cities in Australia, and the first regional city in WA, to have access to 5G connectivity,” he said.

Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Smart said the introduction of 5G technology would allow businesses the opportunity to connect to more customers at the same time.

“Greater capacity, response times and speed will no doubt assist businesses in the development of innovation in the digital economy,” he said.

However, some users suggested the implementation of 5G technology could result in health issues.

Busselton resident Sally Kreiger said she was “emphatically” against 5G in Busselton.

“Studies show significant increases in DNA damage in mice from exposure to radiofrequency radiation that was used in 5G,” she said.

In September last year, Federal Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher launched an inquiry into, adoption and application of 5G in Australia — that parliamentary inquiry is ongoing.

Despite the inquiry, Mr Brown said 5G was both necessary and safe.

“I think we can rest assured there has been significant testing. We comply with all Australian legislation and the World Health Organisation has standards around what emission levels are safe and we know that 5G operates at an incredibly low level,” he said.

“There is a 40 per cent increase in data traffic per annum — if we don’t have it added as a layer to the network, it simply won’t cope with the current congestion.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails