Waubra Foundation Objectives — Evolution Since Incorporation

Waubra Foundation Objectives – an Evolution

Current Objectives Effective from April 2016

To promote human health and well being through the prevention and control of diseases and other adverse health effects due to industrial sound and vibration.

To promote and protect human rights where those human rights are, or may be, adversely affected because of industrial sound and vibration.

Following the formation of its initial board, the Foundation was restructured to become a Company Limited by Guarantee. The Waubra Foundation was duly registered as a company under the Corporations Act 2001 on 13 July, 2011. The following Objectives became the Objects of the Foundation’s first Constitution.

Objectives, June 2011

  1. Gather, investigate and review complaints of health problems that have been perceived by the complainants as being associated with living or working close to wind turbines or such other industrial sources that may be considered as relevant.
  2. Continue to gather additional information from existing and new wind projects or other sources as it becomes available.
  3. Build the existing and new data into a high quality data base suitable as a start point for properly constructed studies and review by qualified others.
  4. Use the data to engage in co-operative studies with independent researchers both in Australia and internationally.
  5. On the basis of data gathered plus local, overseas and co-operative studies, provide relevant and independent advice to communities, the public at large and local, state and federal governments and to the wind turbine industry and other relevant organisations.
  6. Promote research into the effects and causes of illnesses that may be associated with living or working close to wind turbines and other relevant sources.
  7. Make the results of such research widely available, to members of the public, health professionals, and other interested parties.
  8. Facilitate the establishment of individual networks of relevant specialities of medical practitioners and other health practitioners to enable the rapid sharing of information and expertise in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with symptoms of wind turbine syndrome.
  9. Provide such advice and assistance as can be given to individuals and communities who believe that their health is or may be impacted by adjacent wind turbines or other sources.
  10. Assemble the necessary resources to carry out the objectives.
  11. Raise such funds as may be possible to assist in the work of the Foundation.
  12. At all times to establish and maintain complete independence from government, industry and advocacy groups for or against wind turbines.

After some years of field research and communication with researchers and those impacted from various sources of industrial sound and vibration, both in Australia and overseas, the Waubra Foundation Objectives were subsequently revised in May 2014 to better reflect our growing understanding of the range of diseases encompassed by what acoustic engineers had long called “noise annoyance”.

Dr Nina Pierpont’s peer reviewed case crossover epidemiological study into symptoms reported by wind turbine noise affected people (published in 2009), led her to name the constellation of symptoms as “Wind Turbine Syndrome” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/dr-nina-pierpont-submission-australian-senate-inquiry/ . Subsequently at the first conference into Adverse Health Effects from Wind Turbines held in Ontario in October 2010, http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/pierpont-dr-n-wind-turbine-syndrome-and-brain/ it became clear that these symptoms described by Dr Nina Pierpont in her study had long been known to acousticians but were labelled “annoyance” or “noise annoyance” by acousticians and engineers. Accordingly, Dr Pierpont suggested at the time that the syndrome could usefully be renamed as “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Syndrome” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/dr-nina-pierpont-md-phd-writes-acnc-regarding-waubra-foundations-status/ .

In June 2011, Dr Geoff Leventhall http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/leventhall-g-comments-nhmrc-june-2011-wind-turbine-syndrome-symptoms-same-as-noise-annoyance/ stated at a workshop hosted by the NHMRC that “noise annoyance” symptoms were the same as those described by Dr Nina Pierpont as “Wind turbine Syndrome”, confirming what had become obvious to those who attended the Ontario conference 9 months earlier, including the Waubra Foundation CEO, Sarah Laurie. This was useful confirmation that the symptoms being described and reported by both acoustic and medical professionals and being reported by noise impacted people were the same, and were caused by exposure to the sound energy in frequencies below 200 Hz http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/james-r-warning-signs-that-were-not-heard/

The relevant diseases specifically identified by the Waubra Foundation as being known in May 2014 to be caused by exposure to industrial sound and vibration included Wind Turbine Syndrome, Environmental Sleep Disorder (defined in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders Version 2), and referenced in the WHO Night Noise Guidelines for Europe 2009, http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/who-night-noise-guidelines-for-europe/ and Vibroacoustic Disease, http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/vibroacoustic-disease-biological-effects-infrasound-alves-periera-castelo-branco/ which had previously been specifically referenced in our Explicit Cautionary Notice of June 2011http://waubrafoundation.org.au/about/explicit-cautionary-notice/ .

The Board also considered it important in May 2014 to specifically reference the potential for breaches of various Human Rights Conventions and Covenants, as residents were increasingly raising this as an issue, and preliminary investigations by the Foundation’s Directors suggested that there was good reason to believe that breaches of these fundamental human rights were occurring.

These breaches are a direct result of the continuing failure of Australian governments (Federal, State and Local) to protect citizens from known diseases caused by sound energy, and progressive sensitisation to low frequency noise (LFN sensitisation). These diseases and LFN sensitisation are predictably caused by chronic exposure to industrial sound and vibration, especially where the sound has an impulsive or pulsing character and is in the lower frequencies, below 200 Hz.

Revised Objectives May 2014

  1. Gather, investigate, and review complaints of health problems that have been perceived by the complainants as being associated with exposure to wind turbines and other industrial sources of infrasound, low frequency noise (ILFN) and vibration that may be considered as relevant.
  2. Gather additional information from existing and new wind projects and other environmental noise sources, and relevant health and acoustics research as it becomes available.
  3. Build the existing research and new field data into a high quality library and data base suitable as a start point for properly constructed studies and review by others.
  4. Use the Foundation’s knowledge of the reported problems and the existing research, together with contacts with noise affected people, and field data, to both engage in co-operative information exchanges and facilitate studies with independent researchers in Australia and internationally.
  5. On the basis of the field data gathered, plus local, overseas and co-operative studies, provide relevant and independent advice to communities, the public at large and local, state and federal governments as well as other relevant industries organisations, and professionals.
  6. Promote research into the effects and causes of illnesses that may be associated with living or working close to wind turbines and other relevant environmental noise sources of ILFN and vibration.
  7. Make the results of such research widely available to all interested parties in a transparent manner.
  8. Facilitate the establishment of individual networks of relevant specialties of medical practitioners and other health practitioners to enable the rapid sharing of information and expertise in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with symptoms of diseases known as “wind turbine syndrome” and “vibroacoustic disease” as well as “environmental sleep disorder” and other symptoms and health conditions resulting from exposure to infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN) and vibration, historically called “annoyance” by acoustic engineers and researchers.
  9. Provide such advice and assistance as can be given to individuals and communities who believe that their health is or may be impacted by adjacent wind turbines or other sources of ILFN and vibration. This may include but is not limited to assistance with accessing knowledgeable acoustic and health professionals, accessing researchers, accessing respite accommodation, and assistance with the provision of expert evidence.
  10. Provide assistance with preparation of complaints with respect to breaches of human rights. Such breaches of human rights could include but are not limited to breaches of the following Conventions to which Australia is a signatory
  • UN Convention on elimination of racial discrimination
  • UN Convention against torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • UN Convention on the rights of the child
  • UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities

11. Assemble the necessary resources to carry out the objectives.
12. Raise such funds as may be possible to assist in the work of the Foundation.
13 To establish and maintain complete independence from government, industry and advocacy groups for or against wind turbines or other sources of ILFN and vibration, but develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with all key stakeholders.

During its January 2015 board meeting and strategic review, directors decided to simplify the Objectives to one overarching brief paragraph, that would incorporate the wide range of activities of the Foundation’s work, but at the same time highlighted the core focus of the Foundation, which is, and always has been the prevention of diseases and human suffering caused by excessive acoustic emissions from industrial sources.

Revised Objective January 2015

To promote human health and well being through the prevention and control of diseases and other adverse health effects due to industrial sound and vibration.

Subsequent to the above simplification of our objectives down to one core objective in January 2015, it was realized at a subsequent review that explicit reference to the issue of protection of Human Rights needed to be re-included, to ensure that the Foundation’s mounting concerns about serious breaches of a range of Human Rights were brought to public attention.

Accordingly the following additional objective was added, in April 2016:

To promote and protect human rights where those human rights are, or may be, adversely affected because of industrial sound and vibration.

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