A campaigner against wind farms in the state’s central west says New South Wales Health’s position on the medical effects of the developments is wrong.
Documents obtained under freedom of information show the department questions the validity of claims turbines can cause headaches and high blood pressure.
Carcoar doctor Alan Watts says the department’s position is well known and the documents do not reveal anything new.
He says the concerns of residents should be enough to prompt further studies.
“We are calling for research,” he said.
“We’re not calling for something here which is extreme.
“We’re asking that research be conducted, paid for by the wind industry, because they’re the only people making money here, and done under an independent body and assessed properly with properly conducted research.
“That is not an unreasonable proposition.”
The energy company Infigen says the research has already been done.
The government affairs manager, Jonathan Upson, says the health impacts have been disproved.
“The basic theory that’s put forth is that low frequency noise, or infrasound, from the turbines is causing people to become ill,” Mr Upson said.
“Well in fact infrasound from wind turbines has been measured here in Australia, has been measured overseas in scientific peer reviewed studies and shown to be 20 times below the level that could be even perceived by human beings, let alone cause detrimental health impacts.”
However, Dr Watts disagrees.
“Research, when it’s finally done, will also show that there are health implications from wind turbines and that we will appear to be absolutely foolish,” he said.
“I feel quite sorry for the New South Wales Health department because I believe they’ve put themselves in an invidious position, a position from which they cannot come back from and they will look foolish when the research proves them to be totally and absolutely wrong.”
Mr Upson says the position of the health department should not be dismissed.
“They extensively quote from Nina Pierpont, she’s kind of the hero in America and they found her work to be not scientifically valid and having major methodological flaws,” he said.
“I mean these are the people who are in charge of looking after our health, they’re independent and that’s their view.
“Hopefully that should end the scare campaign.”
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