Resident fearful of push for faster 5G phones

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Cowaramup's Krystal Wilkie is one of a number of residents in the region concerned about the increase in 5G technology.
Camera IconCowaramup's Krystal Wilkie is one of a number of residents in the region concerned about the increase in 5G technology. Credit: Warren Hately

Residents are urging those with concerns about 5G technology to be on the front foot when applications are lodged for new mobile phone towers across the region.

With no applications for 5G in the Augusta-Margaret River shire yet, and two stations under way in the City of Busselton, Cowaramup woman Krystal Wilkie said it was important residents had the chance to make submissions on any 5G proposals.

Ms Wilkie said recent construction near Parkwater fired up residents and she struggled to get information on its capabilities, as well as the long-term effects of 5G radio frequency radiation.

Shire sustainable development director Dale Putland confirmed there were no pending applications for 5G towers in the shire.

“However, approval for the phone towers is for the tower itself, and telephone companies can retrofit any existing tower to 5G without any further approvals from the Shire,” he said.

A Telstra spokesman said only base stations in Busselton and Port Geographe carried 5G and the provider “takes its responsibilities regarding the health and safety of our customers and the community very seriously”.

Telstra encouraged residents to examine science personality Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s 5G review, available online. “We also acknowledge that some people are genuinely concerned about the possible health effects from electromagnetic energy, and we are committed to addressing those concerns responsibly,” the spokesman said.JU

“We rely on the expert advice of both the World Health Organization and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency for overall assessments of health and safety impacts.”

Those agencies “advise that there is no substantiated scientific evidence that radiofrequency technologies that operate within national and international safety standards cause health effects”.

Ms Wilkie said a recent 10-year study from the US on the effects of phone radiation on rats also raised concerns about tumours.

“Many of us have had experiences of phones overheating against us in our pockets or hands after long periods, some experiencing tingling sensations on our index fingers or thumbs,” she said. “The way we use our phones has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. How often do you turn yours off? And now it seems we are going into warp speed by upping the radiation to connect machines faster for convenience and entertainment. This is not progress.

“5G is 10 times faster than previous networks and has been designed to connect machines, not human beings.

“I implore everyone in our community who cares about the future of our children and this planet to find out more and decide, do you want 5G?”

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers said the party had not received “evidence” to support concerns around 5G.

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