Winberg, Grant. Writes to ACNC in support of Waubra Foundation

By limiting his focus on wind turbine related research evidence he has avoided the issue of the extensive body of evidence about diseases caused by sources of environmental noise OTHER than wind turbines, in spite of accepting that the Foundation works to help people adversely impacted by a range of noise sources.

Dear Commissioner,

It wasn’t until 2004 that I became aware of the far reaching lobbying of public officials and concealment from the community undertaken by the wind power industry (“Industry”). For the last decade I and many others have been confronted with the power of the Industry’s dollar in appealing to the gready, the unsuspecting, the ignorant, the complacent and the defeated.

It was during this decade of confrontation that I became aware of the Waubra Foundation (“Foundation”) and its work.

I similarly became aware that the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) had rigorous and onerous requirements for providing tax deductible donation status for organisations working for the good of the community.

My understanding is that the ATO conferred this well deserved status on the Foundation and that the newly established ACNC was handed power for managing such organisations.

On 11 December 2014 the ACNC Assistant Commissioner David Locke (“Locke”) ruled that the Foundation was not a Health Promotion Charity, because according to him -

“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 nor that there are human diseases called “wind turbine syndrome” or ‘vibroacoustic disease”.

The Foundation has appealed that decision.

My understanding:-

The ACNC decision has potentially broader ramifications for others because of the way crucial research evidence has yet again been denied or “misunderstood”.

Locke’s decision carefully avoided the evidence of the many diseases used or exacerbated by excessive environmental noise at night. Sleep deprivation resulting from environmental sound and vibration from a variety of industrial installations is a priority area for the Foundation and is the commonest problem reported by residents.

 

 

By limiting his focus to physiological effects, he has seemingly also ignored the evidence about psychological and psychiatric health problems/diseases which are well described in some of the noise and health research and frequently described by residents.

 

By limiting his focus on wind turbine related research evidence he has avoided the issue of the extensive body of evidence about diseases caused by sources of environmental noise OTHER than wind turbines, in spite of accepting that the Foundation works to help people adversely impacted by a range of noise sources.

I am not qualified to comment on the noise impact on me as I am not:-

1/ within range/sight of any wind power turbines

2/ qualified or experienced in the area of public health or acoustics

But I can read.

My understanding is that the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council’s (“NHMRC”) has ignored relevant peer reviewed research when its role is literature review rather research in its own right.

Locke, in relying on the NHMRC’s pronouncements, might be excused for not having a sufficiently supported decision making base.

But Locke’s ruling to withdraw/overturn a past ATO decision must surely require careful, well researched and unbiased reasoning.

 

My understanding of the role of the ACNC is to impose proper procedures on charitable organisations with the outcomes being:-

1/ protection of the community from spurious operators

2/ allocation of taxpayer funds to the deserving

Irrelevently, it could be argued that the Government is not meeting the same standards with respect to the Industry.

However, the Foundation does qualify with these standards. Officers work pro bono. The Foundation does operate for the benefit of the community.

The two attached letters, which are addressed to you, should overcome any doubts you or Locke have about the legitemacy and qualifying role of the Foundation.

While realising this letter is past your cutoff date, you are nevertheless requested to review the basis of Locke’s decision ruling that the Foundation is not a Health Promotion Charity and overturn that decision.

Respectfully submitted

Grant Winberg
February 11, 2015

Download the document→
Download letter from Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira→

Download letter from Dr Nina Pierpont→