AMA Called to Justify Position on Wind Industry

Media Release: Thursday, 20 March 2014

AMA Called to Justify Position on Wind Industry 

The Waubra Foundation has sent an open letter to the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and its members to publicly justify its claims that there is no evidence of windfarms having a negative impact on the health of people living near them, and that “scaremongering” is causing the symptoms. 

The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Laurie, who was a former AMA member and South Australian councillor, called on the AMA Federal Council to answer more than 50 questions about its recently publicised position statement. 

She said the AMA’s claims were “ignorant” in the face of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s finding that there is:

  • consistent, but poor quality evidence of sleep disturbance and impaired quality of life in wind turbine neighbours, and
  • no research evidence of a nocebo effect, in its recent systematic literature review.  

“There is acoustic field research involving NASA dating back 30 years showing that pulsatile infrasound and low frequency noise from wind turbines directly causes symptoms in people living near them,” she said. “There are clinical reports and research from rural general practitioners; paediatricians; ear, nose and throat physicians; public health physicians; occupational physicians and ontoneurologists, as well as acousticians in the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Ireland, Sweden and Australia. 

“There is a 2013 literature review by two public health physicians in rural Ontario, Drs. Hazel Lynn and Ian Arra, which found all the literature showed there is ‘human distress’ associated with wind turbine noise. 

“There is a small study by independent Australian acoustician Les Huson at AGL’s Macarthur Wind Development in 2013 with a local resident (Andrew Gardner) who was found to be experiencing distressing ‘pressure bolt sensations’ correlating directly with wind turbine generated infrasound pulse peaks while sitting peacefully inside his home at night.” 

Ms Laurie, who is a former examiner of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, called on AMA members to do their own due diligence, and question and seek justification of the claims of their association. 

She also called into question the ethics and conflicts of interest of some medical practitioners who ‘stopped’ the provision of clinical and acoustic information to other medical practitioners, in Ballarat. 

“ We would also like to know if the AMA supports the proposed independent multidisciplinary acoustic and physiological research inside the homes of the residents reporting the symptoms,” she added. 

The NHMRC have confirmed they will be calling for targeted research, which the Federal Senate recommended “as a priority” three years ago.  


For further information 

To view letters and emails written to the AMA since its Statement was published, click here.