Two Waubra residents have been selected to appear before a scientific forum into wind farms conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Writer Bernie Janssen from Evansford and farmer Donald Thomas will join acoustic experts and wind farm residents from around Australia in Canberra on Tuesday .
“There has been a proliferation of labels thrown at people who have been suffering ill health from living near turbines,” Ms Janssen said yesterday.
“We’ve been called opportunists, flat earthers, climate change deniers and nimbys…this is a chance for those of us who have been made sick by living close to turbines to be able to speak out and be heard.”
Mr Thomas said it was an opportunity “to make a real difference” in the wind farm debate.
“I’m going there to tell them what is actually happening here rather than what they surmise is happening,” he said.
“Living near turbines is totally different to what people assume.”
The NHMRC is the Australian government’s peak body for supporting health and medical research.
In 2009 it conducted a rapid review of scientific literature into wind farms and adverse health effects and concluded there was no published scientific evidence to confirm a link.
The report has been quoted widely by the wind industry as well as by some politicians to counter claims of ill health from turbines.
In a statement, the NHMRC said Tuesday’s forum was part of its ongoing research into the issue.
Hepburn Community Wind Park’s Simon Holmes a Court said he welcomed the forum.
“It’s very important for communities, and for Australia’s energy future, that any health claims are subjected to rigorous investigation by the medical establishment,” he said.
“We welcome any research that helps address community concerns.”
Andrew Bray from BREAZE called the issue vexed.
“The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence presented at the recent senate inquiry suggested that wind farms operating within current guidelines do not produce health-affecting noise and yet local residents continue to complain of health effects.
“The inquiry should ensure that all scientific evidence is thorough and reputable so we can have confidence in the final results.
“It will serve the people living near wind farms as well as those who want to see more renewable energy if this inquiry can get to bottom of this issue.”
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