The Australian government’s $9 Million 5G disinformation spin campaign begins
It had to happen after all those anti-5G community protests. After comments from various industry groups to the recent government’s 5G inquiry over industry concerns about community opposition interfering with the rollout of 5G technology, the government has taken up their concerns. The Morrison government’s solution is a $9 million public relations misinformation campaign designed to convince the Australian public that 5G is safe after all – so that they can”feel empowered” and take up the technology and become happy consumers of all the wonders that 5G promises. It has been estimated 5G and the associated Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles represents a $17 trillion windfall to the various industries pushing for 5G. Never mind the concerns over huge uncertainties and possible hazards, such as expressed by Dariusz Leszczynski and many others, its really just all about the money and to hell with public health. So here comes the government’s smoke & mirror circus assisted by the clowns at ARPANSA, ACEBR, Telstra and compliant journalists who have no idea of the actual science.
NOTE: For an interesting aside on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and how his bizarre religious beliefs influence his politics, see The Conversation from May 23, 2019. It is well worth a read – nice photo too!
1) From The Daily Telegraph, Dec 16, 2019
By Clare Armstrong
Furphies over 5G spur $9m campaign
UNFOUNDED conspiracy theories about the “danger” of new 5G mobile technology will be debunked in a federal government public education campaign designed to address “misinformation” and reduce community concern. The Morrison Government will spend $9 million to “build public confidence” in the safety of telecommunications networks – including new 5G mobile – in a bid to reduce concern about electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions. There are a growing number of anti-5G rallies, petitions and social media campaigns across the country with parts of the community expressing concerns that the technology presents radiation health risks. Facebook groups such as Stop 5G Northern Beaches has 1900 members, a Northern Rivers group has 2300 membersw while Stop 5G Australia has3600 “likes”. However key science agencies have rejected any health concerns and now the Communications Cyber Agency and the Arts Minister Paul Fletcheer says the government’s campaign will further address the “significant community interest” in the safety standards in place for 5G. “The rigorous safety standards for mobile networks and devices in Australia draw on extensive scientific research into EME emissions, globally and in Australia, over many decades”, he said. EME levels from mobile networks and devices are typically at similar levels to familiar household devices such as microwave ovens and baby monitors.” Mr Fletcher said the standards were developed with expert advice from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. [Note previous blog post] “The enhanced EME program will make sure all Australians have access to clear, reliable and reputable information so they can take advantage of new technologies like 5G – and feel empowered to do so safely,” he said.
2) And from the Canberra Times,
By Finbar O’Mallon
$9 million safety campaign for 5G rollout
Health scares and lies about the incoming 5G mobile network will be targeted by a new awareness campaign. Public money will also go towards researching the electromagnetic energy emitted by the technology. Telcos have been calling on the federal government to counter misinformation about the 5G rollout. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said radiation emitted by 5G was no different to a microwave or baby monitor. Mr Fletcher pointed to various international health authorities, including the World Health Organisation, who said the technology was safe. “The rigorous safety standards for mobile networks and devices in Australia draw on extensive scientific research into (emissions), globally and in Australia, over many decades,” he said on Monday.
Australian Associated Press
3) And from Telstra, lending its voice to the PR spin circus:
Telstra chair likens 5G health truthers to anti-vaccination and Flat Earth movements
There is no science that proves ill health impacts from 4G or 5G, Telstra chair John Mullen has said. Once someone believes 5G will impact their health, there is little that will change their position, John Mullen said at the Telstra annual general meeting in response to a question from a shareholder. “There is absolutely not one shred of evidence that 5G or for that matter, 4G, has any harmful effect on humans,” Mullen said on Tuesday. “And I realise for those that believe — like anti-vaccination or even the Flat Earth Society — it is very hard to change people’s opinion.” Mullen pointed to the entire telecommunications industry, as well as governments, conducting research into the area, and said there were no health impacts from the technology. “If ever there is any indication whatsoever that we and the industry are wrong, you can be 100% sure that we will not only accept the liability, but we will be all over it,” he said. “But as of today, there is absolutely no evidence.” In response to Mullen, the shareholder claimed they were “electrically sensitive”, therefore “don’t care what your studies may or may not approve, because I feel it”. “I can see you’re a very sensitive person and so am I to this issue,” Mullen said. “We will do the right thing I can assure you.” In July, Telstra conducted a test that found the electromagnetic energy levels used in 5G are similar to 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. “In the testing we completed inside apartments and cafes near our 5G Innovation Centre at Southport on the Gold Coast, we measured 5G EME levels consistently under 0.02% of the ARPANSA standard limit — that is more than 5,000 times below the safety limit put in place by the Australian government body responsible for EME,” Telstra principal EME strategy, governance and risk management Mike Wood said at the time. “In fact, in our apartment testing, we had a room full of network engineers maxing out their devices simultaneously, while still delivering those EME results of more than 1,000 times below safety limits. “It is also important to note that existing safety standards for EME cover 5G, including children, are conservative and will also include the higher mmWave frequencies to be used in the future.” Speaking earlier in the day, Mullen said Australia would have received 100Mbps broadband for a majority of the population without NBN, and that Telstra is partly to the blame for how it acted prior to the creation of NBN. At the height of tension between the government and the then Trujillo-led Telstra, the company submitted a non-compliant bid as it was worried about structural separation. The bid resulted in Telstra being booted out of the issued NBN tender at the time. “It is my view that over the last 10 years private sector competition between strong players such as Telstra, Optus, TPG and others was always going to build 100MB broadband access and speed to the majority of the population of Australia, in an ongoing competitive landscape and at no cost whatsoever to the taxpayer,” Mullen said at the AGM on Tuesday. “Governments could then have decided how much subsidy they were willing to provide the industry to extend this coverage to regional and rural areas where private sector economics were unattractive.” Mullen claimed the cost would have been “a fraction of the cost” of the NBN, but instead, the country has been lumped with a state-owned monopoly that is set to cost AU$50 billion. “However we got here and Telstra too must bear part of the blame for this due to its recalcitrance in helping government at the time, whether we like it or not the NBN is here to stay,” he said.
4) And from the New Daily:
By Isabelle Lane
The government is spending millions to dispel 5G safety fears
Governments and telecommunications giants are racing to roll out 5G mobile networks around the world, with many touting the technology as one that will revolutionise our lives over the coming decade. But misinformation spread by vocal sceptics is stoking community concerns, despite scientific consensus that the technology is safe. Now, the federal government has announced it will pour $9 million into building “public confidence in the safety of telecommunications networks”Ě including 5G over the next four years. The cash injection will be used to further public education and “address misinformation about electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions, which has caused concern in some parts of the community”Ě, as well as funding additional research, the government said on Monday. The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) “” the consumer voice for phone and internet users “” welcomed the announcement, saying it hoped the public education program would “help to reassure those who may have questions about 5G”Ě. “People are genuinely concerned about the impact of 5G in their communities,”Ě ACCAN director of policy Una Lawrence said. “As 5G becomes more widespread across the country, it”ôs important that we have access to accurate information that easily explains what 5G is and how robust, independent research has shaped standards that are designed to keep us safe.”Ě
Scientists debunk 5G myths
Electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions are produced by a range of devices including radio and TV transmitters, mobile phones, and wi-fi modems. Exposure to EME from mobile phones and mobile base stations is considered harmless at low power levels, and has not been shown to cause any health effects. Anti-5G activists claim that 5G”ôs higher frequency radio waves emit radiation that is harmful to human health, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. In June, ARPANSA, the government”ôs authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety, warned the public to be wary of such¬ misinformation about 5G. “This network currently runs on radio waves similar to those used in the current 4G network, and in the future will use radio waves with higher frequencies,”Ě ARPANSA said. It is important to note that higher frequencies does not mean higher or more intense exposure.
“Higher-frequency radio waves are already used in security screening units at airports, police radar guns to check speed, remote sensors and in medicine and these uses have been thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health.”Ě In August, science commentator Karl¬ Kruszelnicki wrote an article thoroughly debunking the “downright far-fetched”Ě claims made by anti-5G activists. “One reason for the health concerns about 5G is the fact that some electromagnetic waves can damage atoms,”Ě Dr Kruszelnicki explained. “This is called ionising radiation because it can knock electrons off an atom, making it an ion. Waves like this are well known to cause cancer. “Despite many hundreds of studies over the past half century, we have never been able to prove that any of these non-ionising waves can cause cancer “” and this applies to 5G radiation too.”Ě University of Wollongong professor of health psychology Rodney Croft is an expert in EMEs and the former executive director of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research. “There are a lot of things that people are concerned about, but they are not based on science,”Ě Professor Croft told The New Daily. “People hear about what”ôs going to happen in the future and they think that”ôs happening here and now. They hear “ėhigher frequencies”ô and they get concerned about that. “When you get to really high frequencies you get radioactive radiation that is sufficient to cause changes in the body that can do a lot of harm, but the increase in frequency [from 4G to 5G] doesn”ôt take it anywhere near that. It”ôs not radioactive and it can”ôt be.”Ě
5G v 4G
The 5G mobile network, which is already available in some parts of the country, improves upon 4G in the following three key ways:
Increased capacity: With around 10 times the capacity of its predecessor, 5G allows many more devices to connect to the network at the same time
Faster download speeds: 5G is around 100 times faster than 4G, with minimum download speeds of 100Mbps, and a peak of 20Gbps
Lower latency¬ (the lag user experience when using a mobile network): 4G has a typical latency of around 60 milliseconds versus around one millisecond for 5G.
Now, if your head is spinning with all the above, see the Environmental Health Trust’s alternative viewpoint:
Top Facts on 5G: What You Need To Know About 5G Wireless and ‚ÄúSmall‚ÄĚ Cells