Mobile phone services are available in urban areas, many regional areas, and along national and regional highways. Mobile phone services currently reach 99 per cent of the Australian population. Satellite mobile phone services cover 100 per cent of the Australian landmass and population.

An Australian Government initiative, the Mobile Black Spot Programme, is extending coverage to black spots (areas without coverage) that were identified by individuals, organisations, community groups, local, state and territory governments and Federal Members of Parliament.

Mobile phone towers

Installation of free-standing mobile phone towers must comply with relevant state and territory planning laws.

Installation of facilities that are classified as low-impact facilities under the Low Impact Facilities Determination, such as smaller antennae attached to an existing structure, are exempt from state and territory planning laws. This Determination is issued under the Telecommunications Act 1997.

Electromagnetic Energy Emissions

The Australian Government regulates the community’s exposure to electromagnetic emissions from all radiocommunications facilities, including mobile phone towers.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) sets exposure limits, following guidelines published by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Radiotransmitters and mobile phone towers operate at a level that is well below the limits set for exposure to electromagnetic emissions.

We have worked with ARPANSA and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to create some information resources to explain this:

Before building new mobile phone base stations, mobile phone companies must generally:

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