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Notice given 6 December 2002

*998  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—Given that, according to the foreword and annexes of the new Radiation Protection Standard RPS3 - Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields - 3 kHz to 300 GHz, approved by Dr John Loy on 7 May 2002, research papers indicate adverse health problems from extremely low levels of radiofrequency (RF) energy, which have neither been confirmed nor denied:

(1) How will the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) handle these uncertainties when it integrates the levels specified in the standard into the regulatory framework.

(2) Will there be references in the regulations to: (a) the research papers; (b) the precautionary measures contained in clause 5.7(e) of the standard; and (c) the annexes at the back of the standard.

(3) Why has the ACA used only selected parts of the RF standard in regulating the mobile phone and broadcasting industries.

(4) What protection is now offered regarding occupational exposure to workers in these industries since the sections relating to occupational exposure have not been taken up by ACA.

(5) Why did the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency agree to selective use of parts of the standard.