Public Statement re NHMRC 2014 Literature Review

February 25, 2014 

The Waubra Foundation is delighted that the NHMRC have recommended the multidisciplinary research, conducted by the best researchers, which the Foundation has been calling for since it was first established in 2010

The Federal Senate Inquiry chaired by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert had recommended the research “as a priority” in June 2011. No research has been commissioned or funded by the NHMRC since.

The NHMRC draft Review stated: “there is consistent but poor quality evidence that proximity to wind farms is associated with annoyance and, less consistently, with sleep disturbance and poorer quality of life”.

The NHMRC Review recognizes that there is a need for good quality evidence; for example, full spectrum acoustic testing inside and outside homes, together with concurrent physiological monitoring of sleep, blood pressure, heart rate and biochemical markers (eg cortisol), which is precisely the sort of research the Waubra Foundation has been requesting for three years. 

It appears the groundbreaking acoustic and laboratory research conducted by Dr Neil Kelley and his colleagues from 1985-87 is not yet included in the NHMRC’s literature review, despite the research providing clear evidence of a direct causal link between wind turbine generated infrasound and low frequency noise, and the various “annoyance” symptoms reported by the residents living near modern wind turbines

The Foundation has asked international and national acousticians and clinicians with specific experience in this field, who are completely independent of wind industry interests, to assist with providing comment to the NHMRC on its draft report, so that any omissions and errors can be corrected. We note that the cut off date for research used in the systematic literature review was 28th September, 2012. 

We look forward to seeing the multidisciplinary research, announced by the Prime Minister, conducted as soon as possible and a truly evidence based and precautionary approach adopted by State planning authorities, including a much more active health and sleep protective approach adopted by State noise pollution regulatory authorities to all environmental noise pollution, not just from industrial wind turbines.

Download the Draft Paper →
Download the Public Consultation Invitation →
Download University of Adelaide’s Systematic Review of Human Health Effects of Wind Turbines, December 2013 →
Visit the NHMRC website at

Download the Waubra Foundation Public Statement →