Rogerson, B & S. Submission to 2015 Select Committee on Wind Turbines
“We have lambs born with flexural leg deformities similar to that found in foals raised near wind farms in Portugal.”
My husband and I are third generation farmers and live adjacent to the 32 turbine Oaklands Hill Wind Farm at Glenthompson Victoria, operated by AGL. Our house is 2.5km and our woolshed where we work almost every day is 1.7 km from the nearest turbine. Our problems entail
- A constant humming and vibration in my ears, that began soon after the wind farm started which is only relieved by leaving the area;
- the continual waking at night;
- my husband who wakes suddenly at night with palpitations who feels his heart is going to jump out of his chest;
- one of our beautiful sheep dogs that if left housed at the woolshed cannot lift her head and then whence is finally encouraged to get up, runs around madly like its brain is scrambled;
- our falling lambing percentages and increased deformities in our sheep which were not present prior to the wind farm operating;
- and the walls of our woolshed now vibrate which only started after the wind farm began operation.
The role and capacity of the National and Medical Research Council in providing guidance into state and territory authorities.
There is a huge problem with wind turbines and life – in fact it can only be described as an incompatibility. The turbines are so huge and the effects debilitating on a daily basis. Wind farms are placed in small rural communities with people who do not have the numbers, resources or power to fight wealthy wind farm companies.
The World Health Organisation has identified sleep disturbance and deprivation as a form of torture. There is a real need for all wind turbines Australia wide should be turned OFF at night.
Consequently the National and Medical Research Council have an obligation both ethically and morally to investigate our concerns and do something about the problems we have to endure. Last year the NHMRC finally identified gaps in the current evidence base recommending further research, but to date have not pursued the issue.
The adequacy of monitoring and compliance governance of wind farms.
Currently the guidelines for wind farms are geared for the wind farm companies with A–weighting levels dB levels based on outdated and achievable New Zealand standards. The appropriate variables for measurement like infrasound/low frequency sound and vibration are conveniently omitted.
The application and integrity of wind farm guidelines.
The siting of wind farms is incomprehensible with the main emphasis placed on the wind facility and proximity to grids. Human and animal detriment, geology and environmental effects including fire risk are totally ignored and reconciled as ‘net gain’.
Unfortunately for us we are in a tunnel erodible area and some wind turbines have been built on a nearby breached volcano. It doesn’t take too many brains to figure out that there is a seismic like echoing and vibrating effect as a result.
Thus wind farm guidelines are inadequate, inappropriate and totally corrupt. We are just farming families trying to make a living but have to combat forces that are beyond our control.
The government tax payer subsidies given to these wind companies (which are mostly foreign) would be better spent on trying to develop clean energy alternatives that are not detrimental to human and animal life or the Australian environment.
The effect that wind towers have on fauna and aerial operations around turbines, including firefighter and crop management.
In Australia the negative effects upon bats and birds is well documented with no action to the problems. However, the effects of wind turbines upon domestic and farm animals have been totally ignored. Our sheep dogs rebelled against the turbines from the beginning by barking at them constantly and then gradually have become totally withdrawn with marked alteration in their personalities and ability to work.
We have lambs born with flexural leg deformities similar to that found in foals raised near wind farms in Portugal. And despite our best efforts to reduce the effects by moving all our lambing ewes from the paddocks closest to the wind farm, there are still deformities evident.
Under the rating and relative risk to people from bush fires within Australia, Glenthompson is located within an area of extreme risk through its location relative to the Grampians National Park.
Wind turbines do catch on fire. Even the CFA recognises that a risk of fire exists when electronics, flammable oils and hydraulic fluids are contained in a single enclosure.
Our fire trucks, manned by decreasing numbers of volunteers due to an aging farmer population and farms increasing in size, are engineered to fight bush and grass fires not those of an industrial site. Nor are our trucks fitted with ladders to reach such enormous heights. Further, the vital water bombing helicopters are unable to operate around the turbines placing this already volatile area at even greater risk
We do look forward to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines doing something to curb this dreadful situation we currently have to live with.
Bill & Sandra Rogerson
14 February 2015