McMahon, H & J. To ACNC in Support of Waubra Foundation

Wind energy is an industry in its infancy and we have much to learn. If we don’t allow The Waubra Foundation to continue its ground breaking work then we should also not allow turbines to be built. If there is any doubt at all in your minds that there could be a connection between turbines and ill health of neighbours, then organisations like The Waubra Foundation need to be there to help support those affected.

Dear Ms Pascoe,

We are writing to you to register our great concern at the possibility of The Waubra Foundation not continuing to be categorised as a Health Promotion Charity.

The fundamental thought behind this possibility seems to be that “to date there has been no rigorous independent scientific evidence that finds that the ill health complained of is caused by the physiological effects from wind turbines”.

There have been many studies carried out around the world showing direct links between turbines and ill health of neighbours, however for a very recent and more local study, we need to look no further than the one released in January 2015 by Steven Cooper and Pacific Hydro at Cape Bridgewater. The report and appendices can be found here http://www.pacifichydro.com.au/english/our-communities/communities/cape-bridgewater-acoustic-study-report/?language=en

Even if there were no studies undertaken, there is no doubt that turbines can negatively impact on the health of neighbours. We have met people who have had to move out of their homes to get away from turbines. The health issues they were experiencing, that only began when the turbines were erected, have disappeared as soon as they moved away. You only need to talk to these people to realise there is a very real problem.

 

Many studies have shown there is no link between audible noise and ill health, however what if they were looking for a correlation in the wrong place? If the problems are caused by infrasound, which is inaudible, then of course there is no link between audible sound and ill health as that isn’t the problem. Steven Cooper’s recent study is the first Australian study we know of that has seriously looked at infrasound as a likely culprit and the results were quite clear.

Other countries are becoming more aware of the impacts of turbines on human health. In the USA courts have instructed wind companies to compensate affected neighbours. The Brown County Board of Health in Wisconsin USA measured the effects of wind turbine noise out to 10 kms from homes and declared this wind facility as being hazardous to human health in October 2014.

Wind energy is an industry in its infancy and we have much to learn. If we don’t allow The Waubra Foundation to continue its ground breaking work then we should also not allow turbines to be built. If there is any doubt at all in your minds that there could be a connection between turbines and ill health of neighbours, then organisations like The Waubra Foundation need to be there to help support those affected.

Yours sincerely,

Heather and John McMahon
Victoria, Australia
February 9, 2015

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