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Health fears over wind farms unite Coalition, Greens

Greens and Coalition senators have joined forces to demand the Gillard government immediately fund independent studies into the health impacts of wind turbines.

An amended motion calling on the government to adopt the recommendations of a Senate inquiry into the impact of wind farm developments on rural areas was passed without a vote, as only Labor was against the motion.

Before being accepted, the motion was amended to remove a call for an immediate moratorium on wind farm developments.

Negotiations are under way to have a similar motion put to the lower house this week.

Last year’s Senate inquiry report said urgent, government-funded research should be undertaken into the potentially disastrous health impacts of wind farms on nearby residents.

The committee recommended that noise measurements be expanded to include low-frequency noise or infrasound. It also said new rules were needed on how close wind farms could be built to houses.

Victorian DLP senator John Madigan, who moved yesterday’s motion, said he was pleased the Senate had noted the government’s need to respond to the seven recommendations.

However, it was disappointing the call for a moratorium was removed from the motion, he said. “I’ve spoken to literally hundreds of people in Victoria and South Australia who have been steamrolled by wind farm proponents. These people are having serious health concerns ignored.”