A meeting held by the No TasWind Farm Group last week saw guest speaker Dr Sarah Laurie address King Island residents about her research into wind farms.
Dr Laurie is the CEO of the Waubra Foundation, which was created to research health problems associated with wind turbines.
Initially Dr Laurie was in favour for a wind energy project proposed for the hills near her property in South Australia.
But after being alerted to health problems associated with wind turbines, Dr Laurie decided there was potentially serious health problems associated with them.
She decided to look into the matter and became aware that despite the health problems being described around the world, there was a lack of research and need for more research.
In the weeks leading to her arrival, on king Island there had been plenty of discussions about Dr Laurie, so much so the police attended the meeting.
No TasWind Farm Group member Donald Graham said the meeting was useful for King Island residents.
“Dr Laurie clearly pointed out that there are issues with turbines and noise and infrasound,” he said.
The meeting also had some controversy when Friends of the Earth spokesperson Leigh Ewbank was asked to leave.
Mr Graham said the meeting was a community meeting called by the group for residents and invited guests only.
“We do run our meetings in a friendly, tolerant nature that our island is renowned for and the group would take any visitor at face value until they crossed the line,” he said.
“Mr Ewbank however has already crossed the line several times before attending our meeting.
“He has a past record of turning fact into fiction when it comes to Dr Laurie and there is now a clear attempt by outside interests to hijack this island issue.”
Mr Ewbank said he was shocked and surprised to be ejected from the public meeting and left without opposition.
“King Islanders who noticed my attendance at TasWind Consultative Committee forums the previous week will attest that I’m a polite man who’s only seeking to observe the community consultation process. I’ll leave it to King Islanders to decide whether my ejection was fair,” he said.
“I visited King Island to observe what appears to be a best practice model for community engagement.
“The anti-wind farm meeting is part of the political context for the proposal and would have allowed me to listen to the views of the island’s wind farm opponents. Nationally, there’s strong support for wind farms because if the sectors job creation, local investment, and environmental benefits.
“It’s interesting to understand why some people don’t share that positive view.”
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