Mobile Telecommunications Facilities

Version Number

2.0

Implementation Date

9/07/2012

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​To inform the department’s approach to dealing with requests to install mobile telecommunication facilities on state school and TAFE institute sites.

Overview

​The department has a risk avoidance position in relation to electromagnetic emissions from mobile telecommunication facilities. This procedure applies to all state schools and TAFE institutes.​

This includes mobile phone antennae arrays and other telecommunication ground stations used for the transmission of wireless services. This policy does not address electromagnetic emissions emanating from other sources for example personal mobile phones or school-based wi-fi systems. 

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), Radiation Protection Standard specifies restrictions and usage of mobile telecommunication facilities that prevents adverse health effects. 

The department requires that a separation buffer be maintained between a mobile telecommunication facility and a school or TAFE campus boundary. New mobile telecommunication facilities are not to be erected or operated on school or TAFE property. This is to ensure that emissions produced by the facility are significantly lower than the ARPANSA Standard.

Required separation distances are:

The Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cwlth), states that in order to comply with the Communications Alliance (ACIF) Industry Code C564:2004 ‘Deployment of Mobile Phone Network Infrastructure’ when establishing mobile telecommunications facilities, the Carrier must identify and consult with ‘community sensitive locations’, such as schools, with regard to the proposed site.

Carriers are required to notify and consult where development applications (DAs) are not required. Where carriers are required to submit a DA (for high impact facilities), consultation will happen through the development application process.

Where agreement cannot be reached, or there is a complaint about the Carrier, the matter can be referred to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Responsibilities

​Regional Directors, Institute Directors and School Principals are responsible for ensuring a separation buffer between a mobile telecommunication facility and a school or TAFE campus boundary.

Process

​Regional and Institute Directors:

  • check with the relevant local government council whether they have been informed of a proposal to establish mobile telecommunication facilities in the proximity of school or TAFE premises
  • respond to proposals to establish such mobile telecommunication facilities, and state the department’s separation distances, as part of the consultation process of carriers
  • consult with the school community, regarding the proposal.

School Principals:

  • advise the Regional Director if aware of any proposals to locate telecommunication facilities on or near school grounds 

Online Resources

Review Date

20/07/2013
Attribution CC BY

Carriers
A carrier is the holder of a carrier licence granted under section 56 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cwlth).

School community
School community includes parents of students at the school, teachers and staff, and the Parents and Citizens’ Association (P&C).

Mobile telecommunication facilities
Mobile telecommunication facilities include fixed radio communications infrastructure used to provide a public mobile telecommunications service, such as radio communication dishes, mobile phone towers and mobile phone antennas.

Community Sensitive Locations
While not specifically defining community sensitive locations, the Communications Alliance Industry code provides examples of sites that have sometimes been considered sensitive. Examples include child care centres, schools, aged care centres and hospitals.