People protesting a Telstra 5G upgrade at Mullumbimby.
People protesting a Telstra 5G upgrade at Mullumbimby.

'Soup of radiation that we cannot escape': Anti-5G protester

MULLUMBIMBY is on the frontline of a worldwide anti-5G movement, which Communications and Cyber Safety Minister Paul Fletcher clams is being "generated by hostile governments".

The self-described Biggest Little Town in Australia, was also dubbed the "counterculture capital" of the NSW North Coast during Monday night's Four Corners program on the ABC.

Mullum had a starring role in the program titled The Truth About 5G.

It featured in about five to 10 minutes of the 45-minute program and included interviews with Greens Byron Shire councillor Michael Lyon and Northern Rivers for Safe Technology spokesperson Kim Sporton.

Several anti-5G protesters were also quoted in the segment and extensive footage shown of Mullumbimbians taking to the streets and voicing their concerns about Telstra's plans to upgrade the town's communications tower to 5G.

"I think for Telstra to roll out the installation of 5G during a pandemic in Mullumbimby, I'm sure they thought they were very clever doing that, but I think it was a really bad move, and I think it really played into people's paranoia around this, and into the conspiracy theory, that this is all a move to institute a technology that is potentially harmful," Cr Lyon said.

One protester said: "I don't want to be a human lab rat."

More footage was shown of around the clock vigils some of the concerned citizens of Mullum mounted outside the town's Telstra tower.

Ms Sporton questioned whether we wanted "these towers blighting our landscape".

"Do we need more radiation? Do we want driverless cars? Who's asked for this? There's been no consultation," she said.

"We are going to be in a radiation soup that we cannot opt out of. So, at the moment we have choices. Once 5G is implemented we no longer have any choice. We are in a soup of radiation that we cannot escape."

These views were balanced by Professor Rodney Croft of the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Raditation Protection.

"There was a very big community concern when microwave ovens came out. There was concern that food being cooked in it would be poisonous," he said.

"When mobile phones came out, there was concern in the public. As we moved from first generation to second generation with 2G phones, from 2G to 3G, 3G to 4G, and now 4G to 5G, we tend to get another wave of concern from the public. And that's not linked to important changes to what the actual technology is doing."

Communications and Cyber Safety Minister Paul Fletcher said there was a lot of misinformation circulating about 5G and pointed the finger at state based players orchestrating the whole campaign.

"I think we'd be naive if we did not recognise the possibility that some of these claims are being generated by hostile governments or by others who have a motive to try and create instability and disorder in democracies like Australia," he said.

"We know that disinformation and misinformation has been an issue in elections in other countries.

"That cannot be ruled out in my view as a possible driver of some of this."

And all this centred on little old Mullum.