Articles filed under Impact on People from Australia / New Zealand
“I listened to their concerns with a growing sense of unease as they documented a litany of failures by government and the wind industry to address, or even acknowledge, what seemed like genuine issues,” Mr Leyonhjelm said in the Senate about the final report. ...The federal government has agreed to appoint a national wind farm commissioner, and said it would look into the rest of the findings of the final report.
Misleading documents, environmental concerns, questionable research techniques and health and noise issues were among the points raised by angry community members and environmental experts at the Dundonnell Wind Farm Project Public Hearing on Tuesday night.
Concerns regarding wildlife, noise, loss of native vegetation and road impacts of a proposed $650 million wind farm near Mortlake were outlined at a public hearing on Tuesday.
A Senate committee wants the government to establish a panel of independent experts to set standards and monitor the health effects of noise from wind farms, problems that health authorities say do not exist. ...Committee members heard from several people who live near wind turbines who complained of a variety of health effects including tinnitus, raised blood pressure, heart palpitations, tachycardia, stress, anxiety, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and fatigue.
The German study suggests the impact of very low frequency noise on some people is poorly understood. Scientists in Japan reported last year that it showed the brains of Japanese wind turbine workers could not achieve a relaxed state. A study of 45 people by Tehran University said “despite all the good benefits of wind turbines, it can be stated that this technology has health risks for all those exposed to its sound.”
After receiving evidence from more than 500 people, the Senate inquiry, chaired by John Madigan, this month released an interim report recommending urgent steps to improve scientific knowledge about the health effects of wind turbines. This includes the creation of an independent expert scientific committee on industrial sound to provide research and advice to the Environment Minister on the impact on human health of audible noise (including low frequency) and infrasound from wind turbines.
The senator driving the push, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm, said the crossbench sought Tony Abbot's backing after the Prime Minister told broadcaster Alan Jones he wanted fewer turbines in Australia. "Once you have the Prime Minister's general agreement on what you're trying to achieve, you don't get as much pushback from elsewhere."
The Abbott government will appoint a “windfarm commissioner” to handle complaints about turbine noise and a new scientific committee to investigate, again, their alleged impacts on human health, in a late-night deal with anti-wind senators over amendments to renewable energy legislation. Leaked letter can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
Fears over adverse health impacts caused by wind farms are being heavily scrutinised during a parliamentary inquiry into the controversial renewable energy source. The Senate select committee inquiry into the regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines, established last November, is due to report by August 3.
“The problem is that, in spite of the fact that you say they are the most stringent rules and regulations, people are still claiming to have health effects and annoyance and sleep deprivation. What we are trying to establish here is: what needs to be done to remedy this situation so that people - the general public; the people who are suffering - have a greater sense that they are being listened to and that there are stringent guidelines in place for the development of wind farms.”
"I am usually the last person to support the creation of additional government bureaucracy but when we are directing around $22 billion towards the Renewable Energy Target (RET), the creation of a regulator would be a drop in the bucket," Senator Leyonhjelm says. "Those who justify action on climate change because of the precautionary principle will understand the need to apply the same principle to infrasound."
The “parliament” of Germany’s medical profession has called on its leaders to support a halt to further wind farm developments near housing until more research has been undertaken into the possible health impacts of low-frequency noise from wind turbines.
South-west people adversely affected by wind farms hold little hope that a proposal for them to receive money to relocate will be successful. The proposal was put to the Senate inquiry into wind turbines by former federal government aircraft noise specialist David Southgate, who said funding people to relocate was commonly used by government and industry to manage noise around facilities such as airports and mines.
Senator Day applauded the bravery of landholders opposed to wind farms and said renewable energy operators needed to take their concerns more seriously. “Scientists and doctors are only just beginning to understand the connections between the infrasound emitted from turbines and the impact on the health of nearby residents.”
Sonia Trist moved from Britain to the spectacular rolling hills overlooking the Southern Ocean at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria’s southwest in 2007 knowing that wind turbines would soon surround her new home. What she was not expecting were health problems including sleeplessness, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and dizziness, which she says she began to suffer months after the turbines began operating.
The wind farm company which commissioned a recent groundbreaking study investigating links between health complaints and low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines has told a Senate committee it was “never meant to be a scientific study”.
Chairman Senator John Madigan said there had been health concerns from people living close to turbines and the hearing was a chance for people to share their experiences. ..."My goal and that of the committee is to get to the truth."
In this important interview with acoustic engineer Steven Cooper, Mr. Cooper explains how his study at the Cape Bridgewater wind project came about, why his study is unique, and how to evaluate the results of the study. To listen to the full interview click the link on this page.
Mr Cooper has received further support for his work at Cape Bridgewater from computer scientists in Canada who have been working to record sub-audible noise or infrasound from wind turbines since 2013. Richard Mann, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said scientists there had arrived at a similar position to Mr Cooper despite working in a different way. “Our results show that wind turbines emit a characteristic pulsation (change in barometric pressure) that repeats with every blade passage,” Professor Mann said.
An acoustic engineer is threatening to sue the ABC’s Media Watch over claims he and his research on the health effects of windfarms were misrepresented on a recent program. A 16 February episode of Media Watch fiercely criticised a report by the Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd that claimed a study by acoustician Steven Cooper had found that people living near windfarms faced a greater risk of suffering health complaints.