No 5G in the Blue Mountains packs council chamber

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill will write to the Federal Minister for Communications to check whether the community’s environmental health is “being responsibly considered and assessed” after a packed council gallery indicated their concerns about coming 5G technology.

5G (fifth generation wireless) is new mobile technology, which according to The Conversation (an independent media outlet with articles written by academics), is expected to transmit at speeds of 1 gigabit per second in Australia in 2020.

“It is billed as the next big thing,” the mayoral minute reported. “Community concerns surrounding the introduction of 5G are varied, ranging from the lack of research into the technology ahead of the roll-out, to the potential health concerns for both people and animals (notably the bee population) that may be caused due to radio frequencies emanating from towers and antennas required to support the new technology.”

Mayor Mark Greenhill said there was “significant community concern” over the new technology and the council will now write to Federal Minister for Communications Bridget McKenzie, Opposition Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, as well as MP for Macquarie Susan Templeman, about the issue. Council will also be briefed on whether any of council’s infrastructure may be used to support the technology.

Dozens of residents held up No5G signs at the January 29 meeting claiming “the amplified 5G radio frequency radiation from thousands of extra 5G repeater antennas/towers installed only 250m apart overseas, have caused many residents to try and sell their homes to protect their families from radiation-related health issues”.

Labor Cr Romola Hollywood told the gallery their campaign would be better directed towards the federal government, while Greens Cr Kerry Brown said: “I’m not a scientist [but] I don’t want to be a guinea pig,” adding that “even tobacco and asbestos” were once deemed “wonder products”.

“I don’t think this product should be rolled out until we know the impacts,” she added.

Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman from the University of Sydney published a study in 2016, looking at nearly 30 years of mobile phone and cancer data in Australia. He said there have been “pockets of anxiety” about many modern developments, but no dead bodies to back up the claims.

“The blindingly obvious core problem with mobile phone alarmists central claim is that there has been no increase in brain cancer incidence in Australia since mandatory cancer registry records began being kept in 1982. Similar results have been reported for England, the USA, the Nordic countries and New Zealand.

“The most elementary test of the hypothesis that mobile phone and other electronic appliances like WiFi may give you brain cancer has repeatedly fallen at the first and most obvious hurdle. If they cause brain cancer, where are all the bodies?

“Ever since the nineteenth century we have seen pockets of anxiety about health from train travel, ordinary phones, radio, television, computer screens, electric blankets, power lines, WiFi, smart meters and wind turbines. Meanwhile life expectancy is longer than it has ever been in history.”

For details on the “No 5G in the Blue Mountains” campaign visit: https://www.no5gbluemountains.org/

Councillors voted unanimously to support the mayoral minute.