NHMRC CEO Anderson Apologises to Sarah Laurie

December 18, 2013

Mr Peter Mitchell
Chair of the Waubra Foundation

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your letter of 16th December.

First, let me apologise to Dr Laurie for any distress that the delay in responding caused her. This was certainly unintended and we have appreciated Dr Laurie’s previous interactions with NHMRC around the Wind Farms and Human Health Scientific Forum in June 2011.

The delay was mainly occasioned by my seeking clarity around our role.You will be aware that NHMRC is established under our Act as a “national body to pursue activities designed to:” , inter alia, “foster consideration of ethical issues related to health” and the role of the CEO includes “to inquire into, issue guidelines, and advise the community on, matters relating to:”…. “ethical issues relating to health”. I therefore wished to be clear on our proposed actions and this took some time. This has in fact pointed to a potential gap in the ethical oversight of human participants in research in Australia, if the research is conducted outside the University and Institute sector and I am currently following this up as a totally separate issue.

On the broader issue of the possible adverse effects of wind turbines on human heath, only quality health research can answer this.

Thank you again for you letter and I appreciate the spirit in which it is written. In the same vein, I invite you to contact me with concerns at any time.

Professor Warwick Anderson AM
Chief Executive Officer