Enhanced Electromagnetic Energy (EME)

Published on Wednesday, 1 February 2023 at 3:06:55 PM

Key messages

• Electromagnetic energy (EME) from telecommunications in Australia is researched,
regulated and safe.

• EME emissions from telecommunications are strictly regulated to protect the health
and safety of the public while allowing the community to benefit from modern

• The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) provides
advice to the Australian Government on radiation protection.

• A large number of studies have been carried out to investigate whether EME exposure
from mobile phone use poses a potential risk to human health.

• It is the assessment of ARPANSA and other national and international health authorities,
including the World Health Organization (WHO), that there is no substantiated scientific
evidence to support claims of any adverse health effects from low-level exposure to
RF EME associated with wireless technologies operating below the limits set within the
ARPANSA RF Standard.

• In 2021, ARPANSA updated the Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields -
100 kHz to 300 GHz (the Standard).

• The Standard is based on the most up-to-date Australian and international peer reviewed
research into EME, and is informed by guidelines published by the International
Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and endorsed by the WHO.

• The Standard considers the safety of all members of the public, including children and
vulnerable people against all known adverse health effects from exposure to EME.

• The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) sets rules for the Australian
communications industry to follow. These rules require that levels of EME emitted by radio
and telecommunications network equipment and facilities are below the maximum limit
set out in the ARPANSA Standard to protect the heath and safety of Australians as they
use, live and work near these types of facilities.

• Visit eme.gov.au to find out more about the research, safety and regulation of wireless
technologies in Australia, including 5G.

Please read the following articles:






Powers and Immunities 

• Telecommunications companies have powers under the Telecommunications Act 1997 to
inspect land, install ‘low-impact’ facilities, and maintain existing facilities on publicly and
privately owned land.

• Carriers have immunity from some state and territory laws, such as planning laws, when
doing so. These legislative powers are collectively referred to as the carriers’ powers and
immunities framework.

• These laws encourage telecommunications companies to roll out networks in a nationally
consistent way using equipment that falls within strict type, size, colour and location

• Carriers are required to notify landowners and occupiers and consult with the local
council and the community about proposed installation or maintenance activities, so that
interested parties have a say in the deployment of infrastructure that impacts them.

• Carriers are required to comply with a number of other conditions and obligations
related to safety and best practice when they inspect land, and install or maintain
telecommunications facilities. These obligations are set out in the powers and immunities

• Further information on the carriers’ powers and immunities framework is available on the
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the
Arts website at: Telecommunications Infrastructure Deployment

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