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Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Scheme would lessen radiation

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I organised the Mullum Wi-Fi community consultation on Wednesday night. We had a panel consisting of Simon Richardson, Diane Woods, network engineer Michael Kelly-Gleeson, electronics engineer Peter Nielsen and community voice Jeannette Martin, who all open-mindedly represented the community and stimulated excellent discussion regarding the proposal.

The simple fact is the business precinct of Mullumbimby is presently exposed to daily electromagnetic radiation from the estimated 100 business, residential and personal hotspots that line our three main streets: Burringbar, Dalley and Stuart.

The Mullum Wi-Fi proposal would see new hotspots placed in strategic locations about the town creating a blanket wi-fi that could not only be monitored, but also dialled down so the power output from the devices complies with Russia’s radiation exposure guidelines, which are 100 times more stringent than our own.

The network created by these devices would have an NBN connection beamed in from Tallowood, feeding the internet into the wireless network, giving the business precinct of Mullumbimby super fast internet eight years ahead of NBN’s rollout plan.

As more and more businesses within the free wi-fi zone adopt the free service, they would be motivated to switch off their own service. Ultimately, the number of hotspots in our town would reduce along with our overall exposure to wireless radiation.

However, as the majority of the people in attendance were largely against any form of wireless radiation in our town, and the people that were for such a proposal were under-represented at the consultation, the proposal largely fell on deaf ears.

The way I see it, we have two options: do nothing and watch as the hotspots in town slowly grow, enveloping us more and more with wireless radiation; or we can do something about it and put in a system that actively goes about trying to reduce the amount of radiation in our environment and minimise the potential impact.

If the community consultation were a referendum, the proposal would most certainly be canned.

Obi McDonald-Saint, Mullumbimby


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