Find out what you need to know.
18 June 2021

If you live in Australia, you should be able to access modern telecommunications services regardless of where you live or work. This often means that new telecommunications facilities need to be installed to enable access to these services.

Whether you are a carrier, a council, landowner or member of the community find out what you need to know about telecommunications deployment.

What can telecommunications carriers do?

Telecommunications carriers have powers under Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 to inspect, install 'low-impact' facilities, and maintain existing facilities.

Carriers also have immunity from some state and territory laws when carrying out these activities, such as planning laws.

The carriers' powers and immunities framework is important for the efficient construction and maintenance of telecommunications networks.

In carrying out these activities, telecommunications companies have to act in accordance with good engineering practices and interfere as little as possible with the landowner's use of the land. 

What is the role for landowners?

Carriers and landowners are encouraged to engage and work collaboratively to seek positive outcomes.

Telecommunications carriers must notify landowners and land occupiers if they are planning telecommunications activities on the land.

For example, if a carrier proposes to install a low-impact facility, they must give a notice to the land owner and land occupier at least 10 business days before they start the activity and ensure that any installation of facilities causes as little damage as possible.

Land owners can use these 10 business days to raise any concerns with the carrier, or object if there is a reason to oppose the deployment.

Community involvement

Carriers are also expected to engage with communities in a meaningful and sensitive way about proposed telecommunications deployments.

If the proposed installation is a mobile phone base station, the Industry Code for Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment C564:2020 (the Industry Code) applies. The Industry Code is designed to make sure that stakeholders are advised before a low-impact facility is installed, and that council and community views are considered.

The local community, including councils, can voice any concerns about the proposed activity by sending a submission to the carrier. The Industry Code requires carrier to provide a response to any community member who provides a submission.

Understandably, some in the community want to know if electromagnetic energy (EME) from telecommunications, particularly 5G is regulated for safety, and whether there are any health concerns. The technology 5G relies on for transmission is not new and the frequencies used by 5G services have been studied by scientists in Australia and overseas with no verifiable health effects having been discovered.

The Department has developed a range of resources designed to inform and reassure communities that telecommunications technologies are researched, regulated and safe.

Find out more