A man’s petition to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to stop the installation of a 30m 5G tower in Melbourne was recently dismissed, despite his legitimate concerns for public health and safety. Whittlesea City Council approved the installation of the monopole and equipment cabinet at the Main Street Recreation Reserve in Thomastown, citing significant need for telecommunication services. Analysis conducted by council revealed that emissions from the proposed tower are only 2.1% of maximum radiation levels mandated by regulatory bodies. Australia’s then chief medical officer Brendan Murphy issued a public statement earlier this year that 5G technology is safe and radio waves from telecommunications technology are not hazardous to human health. Murphy further stated that there was no evidence linking any health concerns to 5G towers already installed elsewhere in Australia. Nevertheless, many individuals remain wary of such an installation near their community and have raised objections regarding its potential effects on radiation exposure risks, especially among children living nearby.
Unfortunately, those objections were not enough for VCAT which ruled against the man’s petition as it found his argument to be “misconceived”. Despite his passion for protecting his fellow citizens from potential harm, he could not provide sufficient facts or research to convince VCAT that there would be any cause for alarm due to this particular 5G tower. This case serves as a reminder that while individuals may raise legitimate objections to 5G installations, they must present valid arguments backed up by existing regulation or research if they wish for any chance at succeeding in such a dispute. Such cases will likely become more common over time as more 5G towers are built across Australia and elsewhere around the world. Without concrete evidence of risk, individuals may be hard-pressed to prevent the installation of telecommunications infrastructure. Despite this decision, it is important to remember that citizens have a right to question such installations and raise their concerns in an effort to protect their neighbourhoods from any potential harm. It is also essential for all parties—government officials, telecommunications providers and citizens—to work together to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all.
However, this case emphasizes the importance of continuous research into 5G radiation and its potential health risks, so that people can make informed decisions about the infrastructure in their vicinity. More importantly, it reiterates the necessity of upholding public safety as paramount in any decision-making processes regarding 5G tower installations. Until proper research and valid evidence is provided, concerns about the safety of 5G towers will remain a pressing issue. Until then, citizens must continue to voice their objections for necessary changes in order to protect public health and safety.