Email to ABC Journalist from CEO of the Waubra Foundation
Following what the Waubra Foundation considered a biased report on the ABC, there has been considerable interest in the contents of an email sent from the Foundation’s CEO to the ABC, and further misrepresentation on the part of
some journalists. For those interested in the contents of the email, it is reproduced here.
Email sent to an ABC journalist in late November, 2013 after yet another biased interview
It never ceases to amaze me how most ABC journalists fall for wind industry and clean energy council spin. Without even a hint of a query.
The tragedy of the blatantly misleading story you and your colleagues put together this morning is to perpetuate the abuse this industry and its supporters are perpetrating on rural communities around Australia. Thanks to you, and your colleagues, this will now continue, effectively without critical scrutiny.
The wind industry know exactly what they are doing, because they have done it for over twenty years. http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/explicit-warning-notice/ .
Have you ever stopped to think about the imbalance in financial resources? We are a tiny organisation and survive on donations, and are under constant attack from those who seek to ensure that the truth does not come out.
We all work pro bono.
Why would I do this? I have no vested interest – there is no wind development proposed for near me – Origin pulled out of their planned development near my home almost two years ago (which was the trigger for me to start looking at these issues of harm to health from low frequency noise). Why would I continue to do this, if it wasn’t for the genuine professional concern about the harm being done to people and the way the authorities are ignoring the harm.
Please, do your homework on this issue. You could start with this: http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/media-release-november-25-2013-2/ Why did this judge issue an interim injunction, I wonder???
Go and listen to ABC journalist Cheryl Hall’s excellent reporting from Victoria some of which is accessible on our website in the residents impact stories (home page, bottom right hand side). Cheryl knows exactly what is going on.
Why is it so hard to get people to understand that night time noise in a quiet country environment is going to disturb the sleep of some people, and that if they cannot turn off the source of the noise, that they are going to become sleep deprived over time which will then harm their health……
Hardly rocket science….
They also develop a range of other symptoms, well known to acousticians for years.
Perhaps for you it is an ideological bias that you (and many of your colleagues) have with respect to understanding that there is a noise pollution from wind turbines, known for over thirty years.
If that is the case, please take the time to read the account of what is happening to residents living near coal mines, in Chapter five of Sharyn Munro’s excellent book called Rich Land Waste Land, how Coal is killing Australia. The same range of symptoms from industrial low frequency noise is occurring in those coal and CSG communities as well, yet no one will even report on them despite me urging them to. (see here http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/rich-land-waste-land-how-coal-killing-australia-sharyn-munro/ and http://waubrafoundation.org.au/2013/report-tara-gas-field-health-survey-released/
Have a think about who is financially benefiting from what is happening, and who the losers are. Who are the real vested interests? Who is threatened by the truth coming out about this noise pollution? The noise polluters? Those political parties they donate to (all three major parties)?
Those professionals who support them in hiding the truth?
The acousticians perhaps (see http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/laurie-s-wind-turbine-noise-adverse-health-effects-and-professional-ethics/
What about the lawyers who write the contracts with the gag clauses in them or who get lucrative work from the wind developers? (see http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/slater-gordon-acknowledge-confidentiality-clauses/ where Slater and Gordon admit they have acted for landowners who have signed such contracts).
I am not alone in my concerns, although of course that is always how this issue is portrayed. Have a look at this list, for example: http://www.epaw.org/documents.php?article=ns53
David, we are talking about people who have been driven from their homes because of the known health damaging effects of low frequency noise pollution and then silenced. (put in Toora and Trish Godfrey into our search bar and learn what happened at Toora and to Trish Godfrey).
With respect to the EPA, why would the SA EPA choose to put their monitor underneath a very big gum tree, to falsely inflate the background noise levels? The ONLY reason is to deliberately deceive people as to the true background noise level, so they can say that the development is compliant, when in fact it is not.
Why would the SA EPA refuse the offer of an international team of acousticians to come and measure at the same time as the on off testing was conducted? Could it be because they are trying to hide what is actually going on?
Follow the money, David, follow the money.
Whoever breaks this story will certainly get a Walkley, and it is only a matter of time.
Think RECS fraud, which at Waubra alone amounts to $100 million already and climbing. Have a look at this, (http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/waubra-wind-farm-ministerial-briefing-non-compliance/ ) and think about why a liberal minister in Victoria might be ignoring his own departmental staffer’s advice to act to address the ongoing non compliance issues at Waubra, instead allowing a foreign wind developer to collect renewable energy certificates from a wind development which has never been compliant (against the commonwealth law)…. What is going on here? What precisely is the Clean energy regulator regulating….. clearly not whether or not wind developments are fraudulently receiving RECS on non compliant wind developments. Your colleague Jon Faine interviewed Senator John Madigan about this issue this week in Melbourne.
The Waubra RECS fraud is the tip of the iceberg.
And please, desist from referring to the Waubra Foundation as an anti wind group. It is false and misleading and the ABC do it all the time.
We are PRO Health, and PRO research, and all we want to see is the research done, by independent others who have specific expertise in those disciplines of sleep and acoustics particularly. We also want to see safer noise pollution regulations for ALL industrial low frequency noise polluting facilities, along the lines of the Kelley recommendations from thirty years ago, until research improves them further.
We help any individual group as best we can with very limited financial resources, but it is truly a David and Goliath battle. Which you and your colleagues make even harder by not doing your jobs properly.
And if you think you and your colleagues at the ABC are not direct part of the problem, have a think about what perpetrators of abuse do to avoid being held accountable. They lie. Very convincingly. Just like manufacturers of harmful products, who know about the harm but lie about it eg James Hardie directors, Big Tobacco companies, and the manufacturers of Thalidomide…. for years.
What have the wind industry and the wind turbine manufacturers been doing for years? Lying about their knowledge of the adverse health impacts, which were known and demonstrated nearly thirty years ago by Kelley and his team. As I said to you, but you chose not to broadcast, the noise pollution regulatory authorities (assisted by the wind industry) have never measured the very frequencies known to cause serious long term adverse health impacts. See here for more information: http://waubrafoundation.org.au/information/acousticians-noise-regulators/acoustic-field-surveys/
The ABC is very much part of perpetrating the ongoing abuse of rural citizens in this country, by the sort of blatantly biased reporting such as your program. If the ABC in particular had honest objective journalists who were capable of critical analysis and independent thought and an intellectual curiosity rather than a bunch of ideological groupthinkers, who ignore credible known science, this story would have been exposed a long time ago.
And if you don’t think this is abuse, please read the following: http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/hallstein-w-falmouth-wind-turbines-sleep-deprivation-psychiatrist-weighs/
Expert evidence and documented harm was presented to the Tribunal members in the Cherry Tree case. It was effectively ignored, although the Tribunal members did acknowledge that some people experience adverse health effects. In the end, their comment about only x % of people affected at Macarthur was telling. So yes, there are adverse impacts, but “not enough people are affected”. What is a reasonable number of people to be driven mad by the noise or sleep deprivation? How many suicides will it take, I wonder? What is a reasonable number of people driven out of their home???
The Tribunal members chose to discount the evidence presented from Cullerin Range in NSW, which is consistent with the Macarthur and Waterloo evidence. All of the studies at this link were included in our evidence and they were ignored: http://waubrafoundation.org.au/library/community-noise-impact-surveys/
So too the following expert evidence by experienced Acoustician Les Huson. His evidence was ignored. http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/huson-l-expert-evidence-at-vcat-cherry-tree-hearing/ as were the witness statements and witness testimony of the sick residents from Macarthur who also testified. Please read them, and see what you think. The wind industry lawyer did not show them to be liars on the witness stand – he barely asked any of them any questions. Couldn’t wait to get them off the stand….
The following sharply critical letters by two leading internationally recognised researchers in this field relating to the Victorian Health department were also ignored:
With respect to the NSW Health department official who misleadingly told the NSW Planning Assessment Commission there was “no peer reviewed published evidence” please have a look at the submission from the lawyers for the Friends of Collector http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/collector-wind-farm-pac-hearing-friends-collector-submission/ and our own submission to that same hearing: http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/collector-nsw-planning-assessment-commission-hearing-oct-30-2013/
Rural residents are “acceptable collateral damage” and there are simply not enough of them to warrant being concerned about them if they are driven out of their homes and driven mad by the noise.
And remember that noise and sleep deprivation are used as instruments of torture. Which is precisely what residents living near wind developments describe.
Journalists have an ethical and professional obligation, which in the case of ABC journalists in particular will one day be exposed for being sadly lacking on this particular issue.