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Statement of Dr Sarah Elisabeth Laurie  

Author:  | Australia, Health, Law


In the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal Planning and Environment List, no 2910 of 2012, between Cherry Tree Wind Farm Pty Ltd, applicant, and Mitchell Shire Council, first respondent, and Trawool Valley-Whiteheads Creek Landscape Guardians Inc, second respondent, and ORS, respondents

16. The Waubra Foundation is frequently described in the media and by wind developers as an “anti wind” organisation, and I am personally regularly described as being “anti wind”. Both assertions are untrue. For example, it is on the public record that I supported my children, then aged 4, in their march in a “Get Up rally” holding a wind turbine, supporting wind energy, in Adelaide in 2008.

17. The Waubra Foundation is primarily concerned about the adverse impacts of industrial noise on human health, with particular focus on sound and vibration in the infrasound and low frequency ranges, ie below 200 Hz.

18. Since we commenced our work with initial concerns about poorly sited large industrial wind turbines, we have been approached by, and provided assistance to, a range of people impacted by different sources of infrasound and low frequency sound and vibration energy in both urban and rural environments.

19. Rural noise sources have included gasfired power stations (eg Pt Campbell, Victoria, Uranquinty, NSW), mining activities (eg coal mines in the upper Hunter region, NSW) and compressors used in CSG operations (eg Tara, QLD).

20. Urban sources include the low frequency noise emissions from a large compressor attached to a Veterinary Building at the University of Melbourne, which was affecting the health of some of the nearby residents living in an adjoining suburb of Parkville. …

24. Dr Amanda Harry, a rural General Practitioner from Cornwall in the United Kingdom was the first Medical practitioner I am aware of who reported adverse health effects being experienced by neighbours to wind turbines. Dr Harry conducted a survey of her patients living near wind developments in 2003. …

26. It became clear with further reading that in the subsequent years since Dr Harry’s study there had been little systematic population health data collection by clinical researchers. There was no information on the full spectrum of acoustic frequency exposures inside people’s homes, and very little research about the adverse health effects of chronic exposure to this sound and vibration energy from wind turbines specifically. There were, however, plenty of adverse health reports from sick residents, including reports of home abandonment, both in Australia and internationally. …

Download original document: “Statement of Dr Sarah Laurie re: appeal of Cherry Tree Wind Farm

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