Members of the Flyers Creek group opposed to a wind farm project planned near their villages have welcomed recommendations from a Senate committee that call for urgent Federal Government research to be carried out on the possible effects of wind farms on human health.
The senate committee report also recommends a comprehensive study be carried out on the noise impacts of wind farms and that noise measurements be expanded to include any low frequency noise coming from wind turbines.
An independent body tasked with responding to complaints was also recommended by the Senate committee in their report on the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms, handed down last week.
Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group (FCWTAG) member Patina Schneider said the committee’s recommendations made her feel like people were finally starting to take the concerns of groups like hers seriously.
“This report should make a difference and the NSW Department of Planning should take notice,” she said.
Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation, which was set to highlight potential health risks posed by wind farms, said whilst she was delighted with the report, more work needed to be done.
Dr Laurie called for a moratorium on any new wind farms until the research recommended by the Senate committee was undertaken.
“My concern is that because they haven’t said anything about a moratorium or buffer distances, the industry will just take it to mean business as usual and just press on with building wind farms,” she said.
“They’re making people sick now so developers and the government should think about their duty of care.”
An increasing number of people are coming out and describing negative health symptoms which she believes are likely linked to wind farms.
“The noise coming from them can disturb people’s sleep and chronic sleep deprivation is an issue... we have people saying ‘I can’t see turbines, I can’t hear them but I’m still waking up in the middle of the night’” Dr Laurie told the Blayney Chronicle.
She said ultimately state and federal governments needed to adopt the committee’s recommendations if any significant progress were to be made on addressing the concerns of residents groups like the FCWTAG.
“It is a matter of political will... as turbines get bigger and more wind farms are built, the problem’s we’re seeing now will only escalate and people will get sicker,” Dr Laurie feared.