A SMALL group of wind farm opponents has mounted a protest on the steps of the Victorian Parliament, complaining of health problems caused by turbines.
The Waubra residents say the 128-turbine wind farm in their community causes sleep deprivation, headaches, high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
They formed a small rally on the steps of Parliament a week after the opposition announced its election policy for greater controls of wind farms.
Donald Thomas, 51, lives on a farm at Evansford about 3.5km from the nearest turbine in Waubra.
“We welcomed the wind farm when it came, thought it was a great thing for the area,” he said.
“Having lived there for 12 months I see them now as nothing more than instruments of torture.”
Mr Thomas said he suffers headaches, heart palpitations and high blood pressure. His parents, who live within 1km of the turbines, have the same symptoms and also suffer from sleep deprivation.
Mr Thomas has neighbours who have moved out or go elsewhere to sleep. He wants the turbines turned off at night or shut down.
“When the turbines don’t go the symptoms go away. Simple as that,” he said.
Noel Dean left his Waubra farm on advice from three medical practitioners. He said the turbulence they emit creates havoc on the human body and his symptoms still persist.
Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu last week pledged to ban wind farms from being built within 2km of homes and in growth corridors, national parks and tourist zones.
The government and industry have rejected the policy, which they say will kill the wind energy industry in Victoria.
Mr Baillieu said the opposition supports wind farms and the policy is about restoring balance between wind farm proponents and local communities.
Poor siting of turbines had divided communities and destroyed lives, he said.
“Our general proposition has been for a number of years that wind farms shouldn’t go in sensitive landscapes and they shouldn’t go where communities don’t want them.”