Articles filed under Impact on People from Australia
Australia's peak medical research agency recommended additional research into the effects of wind farms on health based on the "macro policy environment" rather than the scientific report they commissioned, ignoring objections from senior officials in the NSW and Victorian governments.
Groundbreaking Australian research has established a “cause and effect” existed between wind farms and health impacts on some nearby residents, a peer review by one of the world’s leading acoustic experts says.
In a statement on Wednesday, the National Health and Medical Research Council said research into the complex issue of wind farms and health was limited and of poor quality, with “no consistent evidence” of wind farms causing adverse health effects. But NHMRC chief executive Warwick Anderson said it was “important to say no consistent evidence does not necessarily mean no effect on human health’’.
The issue of whether wind turbines – one of Australia’s largest clean energy sources – cause health problems has again reared its head. Tom Arup explains why turbines take the wind out of some people’s sails. A new study looks at the reactions of six residents to the noise from the Cape Bridgewater wind farm, in south-west Victoria.
Six Cape Bridgewater residents involved in groundbreaking research on side-effects of wind farm infrasound have called for the state government to declare the area a health hazard. They have also called on the federal government to fund new studies on long-term health implications of living near wind farms, of which many are scattered across the south-west.
The report found offending sound pressure was present at four distinct phases of turbine operation: starting, maximum power and changing load by more than 20 per cent either up or down. Mr Cooper said the findings were consistent with research into health impacts from early model wind turbines conducted in the US more than 20 years ago.
The new inquiry – the latest in a long list of investigations into renewable energy and wind power – is proposed by crossbench senators David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day and Liberal Chris Back, all of whom have argued for the abolition of the renewable energy target, which underpins wind energy in Australia.
A large gallery of wind farm critics cheered on Jim Doukas when he criticised the council’s response to complaints about noise issues relating to the giant Macarthur wind farm. “The report is so light on information and facts it seems like it is bias. Is AGL doing something for us we don’t know about, because it looks that way.”
In a fiery address to the council’s meeting on Tuesday night, Cr Jim Doukas refused to accept a peer review commissioned by the shire which found company AGL was operating the 140-turbine wind farm within noise guidelines. “It is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever read in my life and AGL should be tied to a tree and flogged with a whip,” Cr Doukas said.
The results from recordings and residents’ diaries show that a change in power output of more than 20 per cent leads to a change in sensation for the residents. “The main thing I get from the study is that there is a direct correlation from the noise coming out of the wind farm and the response in my body to that noise,’’ Ware says.
But Pacific Hydro has agreed to a key request from residents to allow acoustician Steven Cooper to investigate whether noise and power levels correspond with complaints from nearby residents. The decision by the company to allow Mr Cooper to measure noise is significant because of Mr Cooper’s previous reports critical of wind farm noise.
Electrician Chris Gabler bought his plot 12 months ago and said he had no idea the area was part of EPYC's Jupiter project area. "I had no idea and we wouldn’t have bought it if I had known there was going to be a wind farm right next to me,” he said.
The Piper Alderman firm says the council has an obligation to take action after it received 20 official complaints from residents about noise coming from AGL’s 140-turbine wind farm last year. The council has begun investigating the nuisance complaints under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act
Noise levels from wind farms should be monitored by the state’s top environmental watchdog, a Western Victorian MP says.
In this radio interview, the host, Alan Jones, discusses the high costs and impacts of wind energy development in Australia. To listen to the interview, click the link at the bottom of this page.
Senator John Madigan has attacked the country’s peak medical body for dismissing claims about health effects from wind farm turbines, questioning whether the position is politically motivated. The Australian Medical Association last week released its first official comments on the controversial subject, declaring existing evidence did not show infrasound from the turbines’ action caused adverse health effects.
Mrs Schneider said “proper research” needed to be done by independent experts without bias or by people on both sides of the debate working together. She said it should be up to governments to pay for the research. “If the governments are going to put poor planning policies in place ... they should be paying for the research,” she said.
NHMRC chief executive Warwick Anderson said work so far showed only seven studies worldwide were reliable enough to draw conclusions. "It's clear that further high quality research is needed, particularly exploring some of those health-related effects," he said. "At that stage we will consider calling for specific research to attack these particular gaps in knowledge."
This is a story about the wind industry and turbine manufacturer, Vestas and the global campaign to counter dissent about the adverse impacts caused by their product to an often ignored minority of people living in rural communities worldwide.
A legal challenge against the controversial $2 billion King Island wind farm proposal could be thwarted if state-owned Hydro Tasmania succeeds in making its opponents find $165,000 as security for costs. Wind farm opponents, the No TasWind Farm Group, said its legal challenge security cost "tipping point" was only about $20,000.