To the office of the Auditor General, I would appreciate it if my feedback can be passed on the auditor general for his considered response and advice. I would like to start by saying that I have some serious concerns at the lack of depth in the analysis particularly relating to the very important topic of health that has been associated with the rollout of smart meters. I have searched the report looking for the word “health” to see how this contentious issue has been tackled. To my surprise it features only twice in the context of the rollout within this document and it seems to be dismissive of the issue. I have captured the pertinent points raised by the auditor general in his report to the health issue immediately below:
“Addressing community concerns and encouraging smart meter acceptance
The delay in completing the smart meter rollout was also impacted by the active refusal of customers, based on concerns relating to health or for other reasons.”
“It commissioned several reports, including a study into the health impacts of electromagnetic emissions from smart meters, and found that their emissions are well below the established exposure limits.”
The concerns are very real and based on the fact that actual people were being reported in the media as suffering health effects that occurred only after a meter was installed. In many cases, the sudden health decline occurred before they had been made aware that a smart meter was installed so discounts the possibility of the health issue developing because of anxiousness or concern (i.e. nocebo effect). There has been no formal health based investigations by any government body (health department, energy and resources department, ARPANSA or ACMA) to look into these claims. Instead, all of these aforementioned departments have tried to downplay or ignore the issue by using Australia’s RF Standard as a defensive wall against claimants. None of the signals used by smart meters have been formally tested scientifically or medically for health effects in humans.
A technical study was recently sponsored by the Victorian Government to look at emission levels but no body looked at the health issues claimed and whether they could be associated with the wireless transmissions. There was no medical sciences involved in this study. There is a significant amount of scientific evidence, presented in 1000’s of research studies, that are publically available on the internet that falsifies claims that radiofrequencies operating at or below basic restrictions are perfectly safe. Many of the symptoms claimed by sufferer’s have been documented in studies performed many years before by the military and was called at the time “microwave sickness”. I was one of those unfortunate Victorian residents whose health was dramatically impacted by the installation of 2 smart meters near my bedroom. I was forced to sell up and move interstate because the power utility and the Government were not prepared to accommodate me. I received no compensation for the costs I have endured and my health although improved has not fully recovered.
As a FYI, I been maintaining an independent EHS register for those who claim their health has been ruined by smart meters. I currently have close to 380 people on the register. The same register was used to create a peer review case series study that was published in a scientific journal. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25478801. I can provide the full copy if so desired. It is also interesting to note that similar findings were found in a US based survey with respect to the health effects being claimed even though they went about collecting data differently. The US survey had specific questions relating to the type of health effects experienced and so could be seen to lead people to choose a list of symptoms. The Victorian study however, was based on a register that had no specific symptoms to select, instead required people to simply list all the impacts they were experiencing. The results are presented in the graph below and are quite striking in their similarity. Both the Survey and the Study were done independently and without any corroboration between the study and survey authors.
The impact on some people has been severe with some sufferers becoming disabled, unable to function properly at home or in wireless environments. Families have fallen apart, careers effectively ruined and there is no support or recognition for those who have been impacted.
In closing, the public relies on an honest appraisal from the auditor general, however the health aspect has been handled very poorly and demonstrates the lack of commitment by a public office to do a proper and thorough investigation of the issue. Will the auditor general consider investigating this issue further or is this a case where the window of opportunity has closed? Can the auditor general provide advice to those who have found themselves in a deplorable situation where they are being damaged by smart meters and the complaints to authorities are falling on deaf ears?