Health risks linked to wind farm

THE COMPOUNDING impacts of infrasound and low frequency acoustic pollution were the central themes of an address by Waubra Foundation chief executive officer Dr Sarah Laurie to a Planning Assessment Commission public meeting in Wellington.

Dr Laurie told the Daily Liberal her initial feelings towards wind farming was aligned with sustainable energy production when a wind energy project proposed for the hills near her property in South Australia.

However, when she was alerted to health problems associated with wind turbines, Dr Laurie decided there was potentially serious health problems associated with them.

She decided to delve deeper into the issue and became aware, despite the health problems being described around the world, there was a lack of research and need for more research.

Dr Laurie's address to the meeting will be used to point out the lack of respect shown by wind generation companies to scientific analysis showing the health risks to those people who lived in close proximity to the turbines.

She said the project planned for Bodangra with 33 turbines posed serious health risks for those people who lived in the small community and on neighbouring farms. The turbines proposed [three megawatt Vestas turbines] to be installed at Bodangra will be equal to the largest of their type in the nation and are also being used on a wind farm at Macarthur in Western Victoria.

"The most common impact of wind turbines is interrupted sleep," Dr Laurie said.

She said people who lived near wind farms were lied to, bullied and ridiculed by the operators about health risks from turbine activity.

Dr Laurie also described the cover up by government bureaucracy in regard to windfarming as being equal to that of big tobacco, asbestos and thalidomide.

"We really only deal with health and noise," she said describing the foundation's work.

"The anti wind local groups have a lot of other issues - as do the anti coal and anti CSG groups. We work with each of them but we are completely separate, deliberately.

"And of course those who don't like what we have to say are always saying that we are 'anti-wind' or funded by big coal.

"Both are untrue," Dr Laurie said.

"No one apart from the impacted residents wants to hear what we have to say. But they cannot ignore it any longer."

The Daily Liberal will publish more reports from the Planning Assessment Commission's meeting in Wednesday's edition.

Wind farms were the topic of a public meeting at Wellington.

Wind farms were the topic of a public meeting at Wellington.