ACNC Reaffirms Waubra Foundation’s Charity Status but Ignores Diseases Caused by Sleep Deprivation

December 20, 2014

Public Statement 

ACNC Reaffirms Waubra Foundation’s Charity Status, but Ignores Diseases Caused By Sleep Deprivation

The Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) Assistant Commissioner David Locke has advised the Waubra Foundation of his decision to confirm our ongoing registration as a charity which “advances health by preventing sickness”, and “advancing public debate“, and that our work includes a variety of sources of sound and vibration, including extractor fans and diesel machinery used in mining, power station gas fired turbines, natural and coal seam gas field compressors, as well as industrial sized wind turbines.

While confirming the Waubra Foundation’s charity status, Assistant Commissioner Locke has revoked our status as a Health Promotion Charity, previously awarded to us by the Australian Taxation Office.[1] The Foundation’s Board advises it will be challenging Assistant Commissioner Locke’s decision on this latter point.

The Foundation will also ensure the ACNC’s decision in this matter is included in matters referred by the Foundation to the current Federal Senate Inquiry into Wind Turbines, chaired by Senator John Madigan.

Senator Madigan is both well aware of the very real suffering of rural residents from environmental noise, and of the work we do in rural Australia. Senator Madigan has also played a crucial role supporting the acoustic research, commissioned by Pacific Hydro and conducted by Acoustician Steven Cooper, in collaboration with three households living near the Cape Bridgewater Wind Power Facility.

In making his decision we note that ACNC Assistant Commissioner David Locke overlooked the condition “environmental sleep disorder” resulting from excessive night time noise, and the many diseases which are well known to be directly caused or exacerbated by sleep disturbance and deprivation.[2]

We note that Dr David Iser was the first Australian medical practitioner to identify sleep disturbance, stress symptoms, and related illnesses and diseases in residents adversely affected by wind turbine noise at Toora in his population survey in 2004. [3]

We note the 2014 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Systematic Literature Review into adverse health effects of wind turbines specifically found that sleep disturbance was noted in the seven research studies into wind turbine noise included in their latest literature review.[4]


[1] Previous correspondence with the ACNC has been made public on our website

[2] see Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the World Health Organisation report from 2009 called Night Noise Guidelines for Europe