This farm is currently a non-compliant wind energy facility.
I wish to lodge an official complaint. Over a period of two and a half years, I have made numerous representations to State and Federal MP’s, the EPA, The Department of Health, The Pyrenees Shire and Acciona Energy, all to no avail.
Since the day the Wind Energy facility commenced operations, members of our family have experienced various symptoms including excruciatingly painful ear pressure, severe headaches, severe nausea to the point of being unable to keep food down, profuse nose bleeds, disabling dizziness, chronic and severe sleep disturbance, severe depression, and worrying chest pains.
These symptoms ONLY occur when we are home and the turbines are operating. Our doctor advised us to move from our home, which we have done, which has partially improved the situation. But our farm is our workplace, and we now travel back there to work, and still get many of the symptoms when we are out there, and the turbines are operating.
It has completely changed our lives, the way we run our business; we are now cut off from our old way of life. Once we are ten kilometers from the area where the turbines are operating, our symptoms disappear.
We are no longer able to employ anyone at our farm with confidence that our workplace is a safe environment. This is a huge concern for us as we do not know what position we would be in if one of our employees became ill as a direct result of exposure to turbines too close to our property. We employ a casual farm hand, who is normally quite healthy. He now experiences frequent headaches, ear pressure and hypertension.
We have recently signed up our sixteen year old daughter Courtney for a four year farming apprenticeship. As she works long hours, she is now exposed to the same damaging environment as Carl and I. Her physical symptoms are now becoming obvious. E.g, ear pressure, nausea, headaches and dizziness. This is her life, this is the career she has chosen and is so good at. The serious and damaging negative impact the adverse health effects wind turbines cause is a huge concern, even a threat to the industry, firstly on our farm but anywhere these wind energy facilities are operating or where permits have been granted. Waubra is a very poorly planned development with no obvious guidelines to protect landholders from unintended consequences. We are collateral damage.
Are we not supposed to be encouraging young people to have a career in the rural industry? As parents to Courtney, do we not have a duty of care to protect her health and wellbeing?
In the mad rush of governments of all persuasions to produce clean, green energy, they have ignored the plight of their constituents, and abdicated their collective duty of care to protect human health. We hold the Federal and State and Local Governments, both elected representatives and public servants, directly responsible for the extremely difficult situation we have been placed in, and the ongoing damage being done to our family’s health.
This is an official complaint and we expect a written response within seven days, detailing what action those responsible for now knowingly and intentionally allowing a situation where we, and our employees, are being deliberately harmed, to continue.
Samantha Stepnell, 13th December, 2011
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
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