Council wants out of smart meters

GREATER Dandenong Council will formally oppose the installation of smart meters in all council-owned buildings and will engage solicitors to investigate its legal rights to ‘opt out’ of the program.

All councillors — except Matthew Kirwan and John Kelly — voted in favour of the motion brought forward by Cr Peter Brown at a council meeting last week. Cr Brown said that as consumers arguably had a right to refuse the meters, the council should also be able to.

He said there was scientific evidence indicating the meters were harmful, suggesting that the council also had an obligation to protect its staff from them under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

“The council is going to try and provide leadership on this matter,” he said. “Is this going to be an electronic form of asbestos?”

Cr Kirwan said there was no credible evidence of any medical side effects of the meters and that there was “more evidence of mobile phones causing harm”.

Cr Sean O’Reilly supported the motion but cautioned that the cost of consulting lawyers should not blow out.

At present there are 10 meters installed on council-owned land. —Natalie Kotsios