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5G Working Group meeting minutes

c.faulk made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Communications and the Arts

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From: c.faulk

Delivered

Dear Department of Communications and the Arts,

I request electronic copies of all meeting minutes for or mentioning the 5G Working Group.

Yours faithfully,

c.faulk

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

When an agency receives a request for all of something, they often write back to tell the applicant that to search for the material will take too much time. Why? Because they do not know if they must search documents from 1975 or only from 2018! May I therefore suggest that you immediately write an additional email (from this same request page) to say what dates you want the agency to search for these minutes. You could say, for example, "I recently sent you an FOI request for 5G working-group minutes. Please make the timeframe for a search from 1 January 2018 to today" (or whatever time is the right one).

It is best to do this quickly because it cannot go wrong and you can save time. Otherwise you might wait 14 days for the agency to acknowledge your request and then another 16 days before they tell you that there is a "practical refusal reason" about your request.

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From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms/Mr Faulk

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, currently your request is not clear and we will not be able to identify documents. It is not possible for the department to search all meeting minutes on our records for mentions of something, and it seems doubtful this would be your intention. You may be interested in just restricting your request to meeting minutes of the 5G working group.

We are not able to process this request unless you clearly identify the documents you require. You are welcome to call me to discuss how best to frame your request - ph 02 6271 1219.

Kind regards

Melissa
FOI Team
Department of Communications and the Arts
[Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

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From: c.faulk

Delivered

Dear Melissa,

Thank you for your prompt response. Please provide the meeting minutes of the 5G Working Group.

Yours sincerely,

c.faulk

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From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Faulk

I acknowledge receipt of your request below, received 4 April 2019. The reference for your request is FOI 44-1819.

Kind regards

Melissa
FOI Team
Department of Communications and the Arts
[Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

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From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


Attachment 190418FOI estimate of charges C Faulk.pdf
1.1M Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Faulk

Please find attached the charge estimate for your request.

Kind regards

Melissa
FOI Team
Department of Communications and the Arts
[Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

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From: c.faulk

Delivered

Dear Mr Mason,

I contend that the charge should not be imposed as the requested minuted documents is in the general public interest as well as different aspects being of interest of a substantial section of the public.

The initial invited members of the Working Group involved both Government agencies and Industry (namely Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone Australia along with the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, the Communications Alliance and Internet of Things Alliance Australia).

There is a substantive potential conflict of interest where Government and Industry form a Working Group in the midst of the auctioning of the 3.6GHz spectrum by ACMA. Therefore it is in the general public interest to demonstrate that the Working Group operated with good intention and in the interests of the Australian public.

It would be in the general public interest to know what the Working Group has discussed with regards to security, in particular with regards to the involvement of Huawei.

In August 2018 Australia as part of the Five Eyes international intelligence alliance declared the use of Huawei telecommunications equipment, particularly in 5G networks, posed "significant security risks” yet they remain listed as members of the 5G Working Group – it is in the general public interest to know what discussions Huawei have been involved in or continue to influence with regards to the Working Group.

It is in the general public interest to know of discussions pertaining to small cell architecture and densification of mobile transmitters. A substantial section of the public is, or may have concern to the probability of more transmitting stations being built near to their home or place of work or indoors.

Dense Air CEO Paul Senior expects small cell infrastructure to be deployed in indoor locations in metro areas as well as outer metro areas for example. There are a substantial section of the public who would be interested in this with regards to their health.

The public expects the rollout of 5G to be done in a safe manner. It is in the general public interest to know what safety measures may or may not have been discussed. A substantial section of the public woud have concern in particular to the safety of proposed small cell architecture. A substantial section of the public would have concern to the roll-out of mm wavelength frequencies and would like to hear what the industry is pushing for in regards to what bandwidths are being discussed.

There are legitimate health concerns with regards to 5G. Releasing the minutes of the Working Group would allow the general public to be informed about Industry and Government intention for the future deployment and intesification of the mobile network.

The release on discussion about where, how and how much frequency and power would be of speicific interest to a substantial section of the public who may be electomagnetically hypersensitive or have concern as to the exposure of themselves or their children.

It is in the general publics interest to know if health was disussed with regards to the first term of reference for the Working Group: identify enablers and barriers to the deployment and effective use of 5G in Australia, including at the sector and industry level; and if there were considerations which people with health concens would like to adapt to.

It is in the general publics interest to know if health was discussed with regards to the third term of reference for the Working Group: examine how the Commonwealth regulatory settings in sectors, including but not limited to communications, can be optimised for 5G networks and technologies; and if expertise was sought for health limits, or if ARPANSA were consulted at any stage.

I suggest also that the amount of time quoted to do this search is excessive as we are requesting whole documents from a specific set of meetings. I expect that these minutes are filed in a specific place and certainly would not take more than a few hours to peruse (your quote: 12 hours of work seems excessive). Regardless, under section 29 (5) (b) of the FOI Act where the document in question is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public, the Agency may determine that a charge may be exempt. I hope that I have demonstrated enough to suggest that the above may apply.

Yours sincerely,

c.faulk

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From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


Attachment 190515 44 1819 Contention response 5G Working Group.pdf
306K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Faulk

The response to your charges contention is attached.

Kind regards

Melissa
FOI Team
Department of Communications and the Arts

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