Noise Watch Australia Inc. To ACNC in Support of Waubra Foundation

Waubra is assisting our fight for a more accurate public understanding of the health effects and social isolation of intruding noise from every source… to better inform administrative and regulatory authorities of the health effects that are presently not acknowledged…

Dear Commissioner Pascoe

Re; Deregistration of Waubra Foundation

My contact with you is on behalf of network members of Noise Watch Australia. We put to you that the decision of Assistant Commissioner David Locke to declare that the Waubra Foundation is not a Health Promotion Charity is a significant misjudgement. Waubra is assisting our fight for a more accurate public understanding of the health effects and social isolation of intruding noise from every source. It is assisting our fight to better inform administrative and regulatory authorities of the health effects that are presently not acknowledged or identified. Not by them or by a Health system that is largely turning its back on many causes of health incidence. Public Health risk information is undermined by the lack of epidemiological studies in Australia. We are carrying a larger financial and personal burden of disease as a function of stress factors that escape regulatory and legal containment. Waubra is challenging these parties for their poor understanding and immorality of allowing noise that causes many health symptoms, particularly that associated with industrial turbine activity, to grow.

The basis of A/Commissioner David Locke’s judgement relating no rigorous independent scientific evidence of ill health caused by noise and vibration emissions from industrial wind turbines relies on select articles that support for his case, and ignores others. I will make reference to a range of studies that identify physiological effects of noise, particularly low frequency noise that contains significant energy levels. Waubra also reference many articles that do this on their web site and, in fact, have welcomed suggested reference we have identified. Dr Sarah Laurie, as the CEO of Waubra, goes much further and has made personal contact with many authors of studies that have concluded noise does cause harm to our health, to gather further understanding of the work they have undertaken and the reasons for doing it. This is the very thing that our carers and authorities should be doing, but instead they relate no interest. The strong connection to health academics around the world, represents the priority Waubra has for making Health a primary action plan.

To us, the decision to withdraw recognition of the positive contribution Waubra makes to assist health understanding in our community about the harm of noise, highlights the successful drive by corporate interests to undermine any chance the community has of avoiding torture. The lack of linear noise measures undertaken in the homes of residents evidences this drive further. Some have had to abandon their homes. We have had the SA EPA making only outside measures and under a noisy tree to cancel any clear perception of levels of emissions from neighbouring industrial turbines. Professor Fred Hansen and his colleagues challenged this study and provided clear evidence of its negative conclusions.

The EPA have ignored low frequency noise because that succeeded in excluding it in legislative regulation change in 2003. We have experienced arranged noise readings by SA EPA consultancy at other sites with intruding noise in the past. We have previously suggested a lack of integrity in this authority directly to the Health and Environment Ministers, and called for Ethics Council involvement in the design profiles of regulatory authorities. This request was denied, and the State Ethics Council funding was later withdrawn by the State Government.

The judgement to withdraw acknowledgement of health recognition that drives Waubra’s actions and activities, denies the evidence of authorities poor understanding of the effects residents have experienced, and a lack of awareness of many publications that have been made in many different peer-reviewed journals, about the health effects of noise, regardless of its source, over a long period of time. In our mind, the opinion of Asst Commissioner Locke is in line with many administrative decisions that have been made for many decades in Australia. These decisions have alienated community members not able to tolerate the intrusion of noise or vibration from uncaring sources. Individuals not able to afford the significant legal and technical costs of presenting the harm of noise in their family’s situations. The challenges that exist have to make legal challenge to regulatory legislation that is failing appropriate intention; the illegality of harmful noise.

We have been contacted by many in the last decade, from every state of Australia, relating an inability to have any authority recognise the stress and harm of intruding noise from a range of sources. As a retired medical researcher of many years, to assist the validity of scientific reference that does exist, again I post a list of diverse studies below.

l also relate experience of communications with Dr Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation, where she has agreed directly that stressful noise from many sources is ignored by our authorities. She has made contact with parties that have been in touch with our organisation, to support the opinions being offered to help people understand the challenges and to make life-changing decisions to remove the threats posed by noise. This is streets ahead of psychological referral available from a regular GP who often has little knowledge of a consultant’s interest in the stress that noise generates. The solutions prescribed of excluding noise from life for a brief time each day, really don’t deliver any sustainable solution.

I conclude by saying that the Waubra Foundation is a health promotion charity. It is wholly consumed by the enormous stresses that intruding noise is imposing and ignored in our community. The benefit they receive by allowing tax deductable donations is value that our community deserves. Forcing them to contain their actions through more limited resource levels is a very negative approach to the strengthening activities that are conducted by Waubra in driving a reduction to noise exposure. Waubra are prioritising the urgent need to bring together the multiplicity of governance actions that again, are desperately needed to make effective change that recognises the very harmful effects noise has to health and the lives of so many. Please get it right and see that donations to Waubra are tax deductable.

Yours sincerely
Gary Goland
Public Officer
Noise Watch Australia Inc.
RSD Brookman Road
Meadows SA 5201

8th February 2015

Download the letter including list of studies→