A study released today suggests that anti-wind farm scare campaigning is the real culprit behind the perceived health impacts associated with wind energy projects.
Research conducted by the University of Sydney shows that communities throughout Australia start to register complaints when the anti-wind brigade come to town.
The national study states, ‘an estimated 120 individuals have complained out of an estimated 32,677 nearby residents: a rate of about 0.3% or 1 in 272’ (see page 10).
University of Sydney researchers found that Australian communities were healthy and happy to live with wind farms for a decade, before there were any so-called ‘wind turbine sickness’ complaints (see page 12).
Western Australia is the most wind power-friendly state in Australia. There are no known health complaints from any of its 13 wind farms, and they first started operating in 1993, prior to the rise of anti-wind campaigning on health issues (see page 10).
Victoria, on the other hand, is Australia’s biggest wind-farm complainer. This seems to be thanks largely to the anti-wind campaigners, who travel to communities and scare people.
The research findings spells trouble for Senator John Madigan (DLP) and Nick Xenophon’s (Independent) anti-wind farm bill which has been repeatedly rejected by the Australian Senate.
Senators Madigan and Xenophon need to come out and state their position on this research, or their credibility will be damaged further. Senators Madigan and Xenophon can take a leaf out of Senator Richard DiNatale’s book. DiNatale, a doctor and medical health specialist, concludes ‘It is the spread of misinformation that causes harm; not the wind turbines themselves.’
Reference: Chapman, S; St.George, A; Waller, K & Cakic, V (2013), ‘Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, “communicated disease” hypothesis’, University of Sydney. URL: http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/8977
2 thoughts on “New research shows anti-wind farm activists are polluting Victorian communities”
Leigh it is self evident why Victorians have so many complaints, it is because turbines are inappropriately located to close to homes, In WA where there are few complaints it is because the closest a turbine is to a home is bit more than 3km (Albany) and the terrain mitigates noise, in all other areas the distance is much much greater than this . This is why a 2km buffer is important to keep turbines away from peoples homes. Turbine placement is and always will be a planning issue! It is easy, keep turbines away from homes less complaints.
Thanks for the comment Gerard.
I’ve conversed with several Victorians who live just 700 metres from wind mills and have experienced no problems.
The government’s 2 kilometre right of veto is unprecedented and does not apply to any other form of energy development. For example, a Victorian cannot veto a developer intending on installing a Coal Seam Gas well within 2 kilometres of his/her residence, yet they can block a wind farm.
Furthermore, the 2km veto gives individuals too much power. Ministers and responsible authorities are beholden to the objectives of the Planning and Environment Act. Individuals are not. They can block a wind farm project without considering the greater good these critical infrastructure project will provide our community.
Lastly, I’m sure you’d agree Victoria ought to have evidence-based setbacks. The appropriate distance between a residence and wind mills is best determined on a case-by-case basis–accounting for topography; turbine sizes and types; acoustic modelling; and community support–rather than by government fiat.