Steps to Prohibit Installation of Smart Meters

exfacie's picture
Submitted by exfacie on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 22:53

The following is a guide to prohibiting the installation of smart meters on your property. This guide should not be considered or construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered to be fool proof or guaranteed to stop the installation of a smart meter. The author provides this text as an invitation for action and welcomes further ideas as to how to lawfully stop the installation of smart meters against your will.

The following are steps that the author believes shall be sufficient to defend your common law rights. Sample templates are provided but should be understood and modified if they are to be utilised. The author understands that with the right modifications these steps can be used for renters or property title holders of dwellings held under FEE SIMPLE title.

Do not use these templates without understanding their function and thoroughly proof-reading any documents created using these templates.

And don't be lazy or fearful! Take action today. Smart meters are not lawfully mandatory unless you consent (or remain silent).

Step 1: Erect No Trespass Signs

It may be ideal to erect three signs if suitable; one at the point of entry, one inside the property at least two metres from the point of entry, and one next to the meter. Two examples are provided for the latter two scenarios:

You may print out these documents and have them laminated. The notice may be printed on an A4 sized sheet; it is recommended to use two A3 sized sheets for the "no trespass" document.

Erect the signs on your property.

Step 2: Evidence Your Signs

Take photos of your "no trespass" signs. These photos can then be submitted as evidence if the need arises.

Make sure you have printed copies or backups of your digital copes.

Step 2: Declare Your Signs

Fill in a Statutory Declaration form declaring that you have "no trespass" signs on your property, and sign it in front of a Justice of the Peace (i.e., peace officer). Have the J.P. witness and sign the statutory declaration. A sample is provided:

It is advisable to take your photos with you when signing the declaration. Once signed, make sure to make digital and/or physical copies.

Step 3: Send Notice to the Power Company

Create a Notice of Prohibition to the power company responsible for the rollout of smart meters in your area. A sample is provided, however, please note that it should be modified to suit your circumstances.

Make a photocopy of the signed copy of the notice that you will serve on the power company.

Once you have printed out and signed the notice, you may either serve it personally or via registered mail (Australia Post). The latter will cost $6.90 with a return receipt; make sure to ask for a return receipt as it doesn't come with a registered mail packet. It is the author's understanding that this is sufficient to serve a legal notice. Ensure to keep your receipts from Australia Post.

Briefly, the following are key attributes the notice:

  1. The notice is clearly dated and addressed
  2. Addressed broadly to cover all persons and entities, not just the Chief Executive Officer
  3. Clearly and unambiguously identifies the subject matter (property in question)
  4. Provides notice that it is a private property (you may add or remove the term FEE SIMPLE if applicable and desired)
  5. Prohibits the installation of a smart meter
  6. Prohibits any payment or penalty for installation/non-installation activities
  7. Outlines that the power company is fully commercially liable for any unlawful/illegal actions
  8. Informs the power company the Minister has been informed
  9. States your standing and relationship to the property
  10. States that silence will be considered as acceptance of the notice

It is advisable to also provide copies of your "no trespass" signs to the CEO. This should be contained within the registered mail packet.

Step 4: Declare Your Notice sent to the Power Company

Fill in a Statutory Declaration form that you have served notice to the power company, and sign it in front of a Justice of the Peace (i.e., peace officer). Have the J.P. witness and sign the statutory declaration. A sample is provided:

Once signed, make sure to make digital and/or physical copies.

Note: This step may not be necessary if you receive a return receipt.

Step 5: Send Notice to the Minister

Create a Notice of Prohibition to Minister for Energy and Resources, Michael O'Brien, for the rollout of smart meters in your area.

This notice informs the Minister that you have served the power company, but also serves the Minister and the Government. If the power company ignores your notice and the Government has in any way supported or instructed the power company, then the Government may be vicariously liable (indirectly liable).

Make sure you also provide the Minister with a copy of the signed version of the notice served on the power company. Follow the steps previously mentioned to serve the Minister.

Step 6: Declare Your Notice sent to the Minister

Fill in a Statutory Declaration form and sign it in front of a Justice of the Peace (i.e., peace officer); have the J.P. witness and sign the statutory declaration.

Once signed, make sure to make digital and/or physical copies.

Note: This step may not be necessary if you receive a return receipt.

Return Receipts

Be aware that you should receive return receipts for the notices served (if sent by registered mail with return receipts). Make sure you make copies and if you wish you may also declare that you have received them.

Declaration of Silence

If the served parties have not responded within, say three weeks (based on notice templates), it is suggested that you make (statutory) declarations that no correspondence was received. If you receive correspondence from either or both parties, ensure that you respond in an appropriate and timely manner; as it is unpredictable what response you could receive, the author is unable to provide any templates. If you wish to spend the money you could look to have this declaration notarised by a Notary Public.

 

Additional steps you may wish to take, though may not be necessary:

Step 7: Secure Your Meter

Put a padlock on your meter box. You own the meter, the power company owns the meters inside it. You can open it for the meter reader when you know the time he is coming by phoning your power retailer. If not, then they simply do an estimate which is usually a bit more to cover them, but the next time when they read the meter they then correct the reading with the difference being deducted from your bill.

Step 8: Secure Entry to Your Property

Lock your front gate where applicable and practical.

Step 9: Install Security Cameras

If so desired install security camera(s) to monitor your property. If you do choose to take such action, ensure that your system is setup so that the time and date is presented in the video output.

Step 10: Contact the Department of Primary Industries

Contact the Department of Primary Industries, ‘Smart Meter feedback’, GPO Box 4440, Melbourne, 3001 or phone 136186. Apparently you can register with the DPI your refusal to have a smart meter fitted, but don’t rely on that.

Step 11: Notify Other Agents of the Power Company

If you receive a letter from the power company addressed by say, the General Manager Customer Relations, write to this person and inform them that the CEO has been served. You do not need to serve them as they have already been served via the CEO (they all work for the same company and the company has been served).

Some other general tips:

  • Keep all letters received from the power companies or the Government.
  • Correspond only via mail; do not correspond via email or telephone. This makes it easier to capture evidence.
  • If you do communicate via telephone then record telephone call(s) in which you are involved.

If you follow these steps you shall have lawful evidence that you have protected your property from unlawful entry and harm (installation of smart meter), and evidence that the relevant parties have been served notice of your opposition to any installation of a smart meter. Without such evidence it will be more difficult to undertake civil actions in the judicial system; with such evidence and your (potential) dispute is likely to rely solely on legal argument and not on disputed facts.

Note: credit to "Wendy and Stewart" for assisting with these steps.

 

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