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Notice given 24 January 2003

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1134-1137)—

(1) (a) What permanent committees with members from outside the public service advise the Minister on energy policy; and (b) for each committee can the following information be provided: (i) the committee’s terms of reference, and (ii) a list of its members, their terms of appointment, and the  institutions or organisations to which they belong.

(2) (a) What temporary or ad hoc committees have advised the Minister on energy policy in the past 5 calendar years; and (b) for each committee can the following information be provided: (i) the committee’s terms of reference, and (ii) a list of its members, their terms of appointment, and the  institutions or organisations to which they belong.

1134 Minister representing the Prime Minister

1140  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—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 been neither 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.