1 December 2023

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency’s (ARPANSA) collaborative approach to measuring and communicating radiation risk was highlighted as a case study in the 2022-2023 Australian Public Service Commission State of the Service Report, which was tabled in parliament on 29 November 2023.

ARPANSA’s Radiation Research and Advice Director, Sarah Loughran, says the agency’s Electromagnetic Energy Program serves the Australian community by conducting research, developing safety limits, and providing public health advice.

‘We work closely with other government organisations such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), who enforce the safety limit we developed, to inform the public about their exposure to radio waves from wireless technology,’ said A/Prof Loughran.  

‘Both ARPANSA and ACMA publish complementary information on their communication channels which show the community that their exposure to radio waves is low, and well below the safety limit.

‘At ARPANSA, we’ve seen the positive impact that our research and radio wave measurements have had. Our Talk to a Scientist program is receiving the same number of enquiries each year, however, we’re answering fewer calls about 5G and more calls about ionising and UV radiation.

‘This better reflects Australians’ true radiation risk,’ she said.

The State of the Service Report found that in 2022–23, levels of trust in Australian public services remained stable with 61% of respondents indicating that they trust these services. There is even more trust, namely 73%, in the services they have specifically used.

Australian Public Service agencies, including ARPANSA, work extensively with government and non-government organisations, industry and research institutions to identify and respond to community needs such as protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.  

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