Pollie Watch: Greens Senator backs wind farms, dismisses wind/health claims

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 2.35.10 PMGreens Senator for Victoria, Richard Di Natale, has thrown his weight behind the wind power sector, publishing a short video of support while visiting the Yambuk wind farm near Warnambool. Appearing in front of whirling wind turbines, Senator Di Natale praises wind farms as a source of ‘clean, green power… unlike coal and coal seam gas.’

Senator Di Natale has previously condemned the claims made by anti-wind farm campaign groups that link wind farms to health issues. For those who are still concerned by such claims, Senator Di Natale, a doctor and medical health specialist, had the following offering:

‘The science is absolutely clear: there’s no connection whatsoever between wind power and poor health. In fact, quite the opposite. If you produce clean green electricity… you don’t have those nasty emissions that come from coal-fired power stations and that come from coal mining.’

Political leadership is sorely needed on wind energy. The notion of a wind farm noise disease has been debunked time and time again, yet anti-wind farm campaigners refuse to accept this finding. Their fear campaign puts jobs, investment and income for landholders (and neighbours) in regional Australia at risk. It’s time for more political leaders of Di Natale’s ilk to stand up for wind farms and the benefits they can deliver.

46 thoughts on “Pollie Watch: Greens Senator backs wind farms, dismisses wind/health claims

  1. This man is an utter disgrace to the medical profession. You people attack Dr Laurie but let irresponsible “doctors” like this individual speak drivel. His words only prove Greens are devoid of common sense and morals.

  2. Notice all the people who reckon there’s no problem with wind farms don’t live anywhere near them …

  3. this man is a fool…..talks and worships the ideology, not giving a rats about the people who are really affected by windfarms. dumb dumb and even dumber. You give city folk a bad name. No common sense. Go back to school you really need it.

  4. Are you for real .. You ought to be had up for lying and misleading the truth. I am a green and you talk shit. Who can afford this bullshit you sprout. Get back in your box idiot

  5. This Man is a fool I have sort much advise from Doctors and their advise is in conflict with that of the green Doctor . Dr Norm Broner who know these things cause harm as reported in On the right wave length authored by him in Achieve Magazine10/3/2011, is the leader at SKM in designing wind farms with these stupid things called wind turbines .

    1. Says man who claims “I went to the outpatients at the hospital and they said “You’ve just got too much electricity in your body. You’ve just got to stay away from the wind farm”.

  6. Why didn’t this man, such a disgrace to the medical profession, visit the enormous AGL Macarthur wind farm just north-east of Yambuk, where 140 massive 3 megawatt turbines (unlike the very small number of weeny turbines at Yambuk) have destroyed the health of many, many families, not to mention the safe work place conditions which should be the right of every farmer.

    Why was one family with little children forced to leave their home and their job (merely 7 weeks after full commissioning of all 140 turbines) in order to remove their babies from the impact of the infrasound/low frequency noise emitted by the turbines far too close to their home ?

    Perhaps the Greens are too scared of the truth – but never mind, the truth will eventually emerge and the Greens, along with hordes of other politicians will have to eat their words.

    This unreliable, inefficient and ridiculously expensive form of power generation, which has been recently referred to as “the greatest government sponsored fraud in the history of Australia” will eventually backfire on all those little pigs with their snouts in the trough, that is the 100% government subsidy required to keep these things going.

  7. What an irresponsible attitude of a blind sighted so called doctor.

    Denial is not the answer and the truth will prevail, Richard.

    His propaganda is further putting the health and well being of many Australians at risk, sheer negligence, possibly even medical malpractice.

    He definitely is part of the new green political movement. “Green on the outside red on the inside”

    Maybe Richard should start by providing his empirical scientific evidence that industrial wind turbines don’t cause harm and then visit some of the many affected residents that are being impacted nightly and had have enough of insults and ridicule.

  8. Ooh, the venom…
    Funny how the anti-wind types get all bent out of shape when someone attacks their flaky doctor/messiah (Laurie), but are so quick to get the jackboots into Dr. Di Natale, an actually registered Doctor who actually understands research protocols, like a real Doctor should.
    Relax petals, you are all right – there *is* a massive global conspiracy to provide the world with clean renewable electricity.
    Meanwhile there is also a massive global game of collusion and obfuscation that is actually, really, taking tax-payers money to prop up the dirty old energy industry.
    But just relax. Go back to sleep.

  9. Somewhere along the way; the greens seem to have lost their way. Industrial Wind Turbines make country people sick, they destroy our unique Australian landscape visually and environmentally, and they are a waste of our hard earned tax payers money.

  10. Forget to take your pills, wINdSider?

    Of course, you live alongside turbines, just like Richard Di Natale in the video taken in the Ottway ranges where he lives, not a wind turbine in site!

    1. So, if you don’t happen to be fortunate enough to live near the object of the discussion, then you’re perspective is irrelevant? I’ve never been anywhere near the moon, but I know for a fact that it is not made of cheese, and nor is the planet it revolves around flat.
      If I was fortunate enough to own enough land around my home to incorporate a wind energy facility, I would do so in an instant. As do the farmers who currently host wind turbines. They live and work in a highly degraded environment that is now able to host significant energy generation infrastructure.
      If one cannot move with the times, or constructively contribute to the transition to a cleaner energy future, then that is when one should keep their opinion and vitriol to oneself.

      1. wINdSider. before you start lecturing me on vitriol, you had better go back to your first post and read it again. It has been my experience, since I became involved in this debate, that the vitriol always came from the pro wind lobby first and if it came from the other side, they were only responding, to what was being thrown at them. I have had first hand experience of this, because I and our group, dared to oppose a 199 wind turbine project that was going to be built on our back door, on prime agricultural land. We have been subjected to a constant stream of vitriol and abuse, over an eighteen month period, from the pro wind mob and one senile old fool with a bad attitude, in particular.

        The point of my post was this, if you do not live within two or three kilometers of an operating wind farm, what qualifies you to ridicule the people, who are experiencing problems being produced by the turbines and Dr. Laurie, who is trying to help them.

        Embracing wind energy is not exactly moving with the times. We had wind energy only, at our house up until 1959 and if the wind didn’t blow, the batteries went flat and the lights went out. The pro wind lobby has plenty to say about wind energy, but not one of them has explained anywhere, what they would use for power, when the wind stops blowing and the sun isn’t shining. On the 3rd to the 5th of June, in South Australia, a mothballed coal fired power station at Port Augusta, had to be fired up, because the forecast was for no wind that week. Had it not been fired up, South Australia would have run out of power.

        I have no problems with renewable energy, but in the case of wind turbines, they are inefficient and they can not operate without Government subsidies, but if we must have them, they must not be put near people, there are plenty of marginal areas in this country where they could be placed, without affecting anyone.

      2. A cursory glance of the comments on this page will show that there is plenty of vitriol coming from the keyboards of anti’s. But it’s a bit of chicken and egg if we want to start blaming our opponents for ‘starting it’.
        Your comment on the Port Augusta mothballed coal power station is a wonderful example of where fossil-fuel electricity generation should fit in a diversified supply system. I (personally) have no problem with keeping some mothballed capacity to be deployed when needed. Almost nothing wrong with that.
        The problem arises when a perfectly suitable form of electricity generation (wind, solar, geo, tidal, whatever) is aggressively attacked in favour of a horribly dirty and unhealthy one, just because there are greedy individuals and an ignorant public allowing and encouraging the status quo.
        How many times have I heard the “I have no problems with renewable energy, but” argument? Many times. Wind turbines can operate just fine without subsidies, assuming there is a level playing field, which you should know there is not. Plenty of tax dollars are wasted on propping up old clunkers, rebates and tax credits for woefully destructive fuel exploration and extraction. That type of subsidy is the worst of the lot, but seems to be easily overlooked when you can point to a relatively new concept (REC’s and RET’s), and howl about ‘my tax dollars’.
        The issue with distance is a bit skewiff as well, it is a sad fact that the point of generation should, in an efficient grid, be as close to the point of consumption as possible. It is only because we are ‘blessed’ with abundant reserves of wet muddy coal that we can afford to transmit the power from the Latrobe Valley/Hunter Valley etc., the fairly long distances to the customers.
        When you get down to it, you really have to ask yourself which form of electricity generation would you prefer to live closer to, a belching bank of smokestacks, or a distributed array of spinning wind turbines? And if you get to live far away from any of them, then that’s just the luck of the draw…

  11. Senator di Natale says coal fired power generation is “dirty” from its emissions. Does he not realise that when the wind aint a blowin’ then the coal powered generators are stumping up the short fall….In my mind that means wind “power” isn’t green surely??

    1. Which is why generation needs to be mixed. Fact is when the wind is blowing (90% to 95% of the time and not 30% often claimed) coal and gas buring drops. Check with AEMO for more info, claims to the contrary dismissed on Media Watch.

      BTW – Yallorn was supported well by other sources the other day when it caught fire and when the river flowed through it (again)

    2. DICK Di Natale, don’t stand near the usless industrial wind turbines for half an hour, live amongst the crappy things for six months or more and then make your video, then you might have some credablity. I read and watched your video of your peaces of crap, what a load of rubbish, people are suffering from the low frequency noise and infersound, and the usless turbines have to be stoped and pulled down. You call your self a doctor, what a joke.

  12. Well, we have touched a raw nerve haven’t we. OMG! He’s a doctor and he disagrees with Saint Laurie! Just like pretty much any other doctor would, but there you go. I actually have more respect for Lola’s point above that wind turbines “destroy our unique Australian landscape visually and environmentally”. It seems a more honest take, at least. But I can’t agree because most of the Australian landscape that I’ve seen around existing wind turbines has been systematically destroyed for the last 200 or so years by land clearing, grazing of hooved animals, introduced weed species, road building, etc. In fact one farmer I heard at Barunah Plains (where I heard Noel Dean explain his perplexing “too much electricity in his skull” theory) later told me privately that she hoped the income from a wind farm would take the financial pressure off farmers so that they could allow landcare to rehabilitate some important bits of farms like watercourses.

  13. I find the attack on Dr. Laurie offensive and completely illogical. Does it mean that just because you retire from practicing your chosen profession, then your hard earned degree is somehow null and void? based on that ridiculously flawed logic, Senator Di Natale isn’t qualified to make medical statements regarding medicine and health related issues, as he no longer practises medicine, given he’s busy being a Senator. So, anything Julia Gillard has to say about politics after the next election will have no credibility, as she will no longer be a politician……how simply ridiculous!

  14. wIndSider says wind blows 90-95% of the time. Well, I don’t know where you live wIndSider, but where I live in WA some 200kms plus from the coast, the
    wind does NOT blow 90-95% of the time. In fact, a wise older person noticed during the recent drought conditions that for 2 winters there was little to no wind here.
    If wind turbines were so successful and acceptable why are they not powering all the new sub-divisions of houses in any metro area? or in Perth’s case dotted along the ridge of the Darling scarp????

    1. Uh, I didn’t say anything about 90-95%, but sure, I’ll say it now:
      Depending on where you live, the wind will be blowing enough to enable wind turbines to operate and produce electricity for the vast majority of the time. In areas that are conducive to the development of wind energy facilities in the State of Victoria, that wind will be in effect for 90%+ of the time.
      The anecdote about the “wise older person” is interesting, however it has been my experience that a personal observation about the strength of the wind (whether high strength or completely absent) is not very reliable, and especially so in relation the efficacy of wind turbines that have a rotor area which is held aloft by a high tower where said person cannot possibly appreciate what the wind is doing up there without directly measuring it.
      Many a time I have been told “this place is very windy” (i.e., highly suitable for wind turbines), and the science is simply not there to back that up; after some measuring, it is revealed that the average wind speed is at the lower end of the spectrum.
      Conversely, experiencing a period or season of “little to no wind” while firmly planted on the ground does not in any way guarantee that there is no wind in the space between 50 and 180 metres above ground level. The atmosphere is layers of air, and there are different things going on at different levels, sometimes even in different directions.

  15. Well I have never in my like met such diabolical man like wINDSider you are gutless to say the least. I thought Simon Chapman was the Messiah if he’s says jump you lot say how high, I really wish I knew what this man has got to get people to follow him. What has Sarah done to any of you at all she just speaks the truth! Surely there is no wrong in that is there? Pity the truth can’t always be told.

    1. Maureen Cambbell, I agree with you 100% as these peaces of crap cause more trouble then what they are worth. As for Simon Chapman, if he had another brain it would be lonley.

    2. “Diabolical”!
      As stated below, opinion is not necessarily truth, and I don’t believe we’ve met.

  16. Welcome to the site Anti’s! You must find it liberating to be able to post to this website. Shame you can’t say the same of the vitriolic and misinformed Stop These Things website. I have tried multiple times to post sensible comments questioning their statements but mysteriously my posts don’t appear. (e.g. One of the best FACTS (??) they stated recently was that wind turbine footings were 3,000 cubic metres when in actual fact they are approximately 400…they inflated the figure by only 750%).

    Unlike the Pro-Wind sites they are clearly afraid of having balanced and informed debates. But then again I suppose they have plenty to hide.

    1. Patrick

      I fully agree. None of my posts have ever been approved on Stop These Things, even when they made allegations about FoE and they directly asked us to respond to the claims. I did – but of course they never posted. They are only interested in propaganda, not debate. In contrast, lots of antis have had years worth of commentary on this site (like Gerard below).

      The other obvious thing about Stop these Things is the fact they are cowards who refuse to say who they are. You can check the ‘about’ section on this site to find out who we are – we have nothing to hide. Given they hide their identity you can only assume that they are a paid front group. Of course, its probably wise that they are anonymous given they have posted various defamatory comments about a number of people.

      And as for their use of the word ‘Greentard’ … my mother taught me not to use words like that. Obviously they were never taught any manners.

      1. The reason why you lot don’t get approved at STT is because you all talk shit. Industrial Wind Turbines are propped by tax payers money and won’t surrive on their own, and they are a fraud, and are unhealthy & to expensive. They should be all pulled down and cut up for scrap steel. The wheels are just about to fall off the wind industry anyway. The sooner we get rid KRudd, the sooner the wheels will fall off, and the better the Nation will be.

    2. The best of “one of the best FACTS” is get rid of the bloody usless industrial wind turbines as they are dirty energy, because of the,noise which causes health problems as they are generating power that is far to expesnive (e.g. Far to much Federal money put into them, which is our money). FRAUD at the highest level.

  17. I have made similar comments in the past. Wind turbines have great support amongst those that will never be impacted by them. What we need is a survey of those within 2km of proposed turbines and I am sure that the 80/20 ratio of support will be reversed. I know of a former Greens candidate in my area who was silent on wind turbines until they were proposed within his viewshed and then he opposed them.

  18. Gerard, how’s this for a “survey” a group of 4-5 farming family hope to host an industrial wind
    facility, and the neighbours, some as close as 800m to as far as 2kms and beyond away, numbering up to 22 farming families ( with a couple undecided either way) oppose the proposed industrial wind facility. This is happening as we speak. Gerard, have you not been out to any of the areas and spoken with those who have had to leave their farms, or are very unwell from the turbines. The fact is that those who host turbines are also getting sick.

    1. JJ, I think we are in agreement, whether they make you sick (some people get seasick some don’t and those that don’t can’t believe it is real) or not they should not be erected closer than 2km from a residence

  19. Gerard, you would have to be the most reasonable person in opposition to my opinion I have read on these pages, thankyou for your “gentleness” and common sense. Sadly, the turbine debate is very destructive in rural areas, causing great stress and nastiness between neighbours, some of whom have been life-long friends. The debate also isn’t and can’t be restricted to just health concerns, as in the rural setting there are so many more issues at stake.

    1. “nastiness between neighbours, some of whom have been life-long friends.” Reflection on people (both sides) rather than technology of using wind to spin a generator?

  20. Clearly Senator Di Natale has been sent crazy by those wind farm sounds he cannot hear. It’s obvious the wind farm did it.
    Windfarms are also responsible for the high dollar, the boats, gay marriage legislation, Tony Abbott lycra fetish, and Alam Dar’s umpiring blunder.
    As Tara says “Maybe Richard should start by providing his empirical scientific evidence that industrial wind turbines don’t cause (the five mentioned impacts above)”

  21. If these so wonderfull usless industrial wind turbines are so good, why arn’t they built down the middle of streets instead of trees & gardens and in the back yards of the turbine huggers that love them, you lot can the bloody lot of them. The cities is where the most electricity is used & you lot can go and give them a hug every morning and night. We out in the country don’t want these unhealthy noisy peaces of crap, in the country where we live.

  22. Hey Callous Wind, I’m pro-wind and I’m happy to answer your question of what I’d use when theres no wind or solar. It’s not hypothetical, it’s what’s happening now! Our network uses wind, solar, bioenergy, hydro, gas, black coal and brown coal. Gradually we’re using more and more renewables and less and less fossils. And emissions are dropping. How awesome!

    What, do you you really prefer coal over a mixed energy system? Too bad if you don’t! SA is already at 29% and gradually we’ll edge up to 100% over the next couple of decades.

    Get a grip antis (you too Bruce!), turbines are already a significant part of the energy mix. Noone thinks they are the answer to everything, but they’ll probably end up providing 20 – 40% of the energy mix. And, with respect to those who have drunk the KoolAid, they don’t/can’t make you sick. Move on! Get another obsession!

    1. We’ll not need any subsidies (if that’s really what you want to call the REC) when fossil fuel subsidies are likewise removed.
      Show us yours, we’ll show you ours…

  23. As you say Alex, it is hypothetical, that is all that wind is going to be, until someone can come up with an efficient way to store electricity. There is no way that wind and solar will ever provide base load power in it’s present form. The wind stops blowing, like it did in June, where is your power going to come from? It is a nice idea but it’s not going to happen.

    The other problem is that wind is only 30% efficient and can not operate without Government subsidies. The country is broke now, the electricity consumers are crying foul, South Australia already has the highest prices in the country, where is the money going to come from? If you really think you have the answers to these questions, you could become a very wealthy man, if not, you had better start stocking up on candles.

    1. no way that wind and solar will ever provide – watch this space along with other renewables
      30% efficient – WRONG approx 30% and max rated power, big dif.
      country is broke – not the last time I checked. Unless you mean morally broke.
      South Australia already has the highest prices in the country – With the LOWEST WHOLESALE prices due to wind scrapping the need for Vic Power imports. Shame the retailers are not passing this on.

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