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A night under the stars, under a wind farm turbine

SA Greens MLC Mark Parnell will spend a night sleeping under a wind turbine at Waterloo tonight in a bid to experience the reported effects of the farms firsthand.

Mr Parnell told 891 Breakfast the idea was formed after a group of residents near the Waterloo wind farm discussed localised sleeping issues in the vicinity of the 37 turbines.

“I don’t disbelieve the people who say they have these symptoms, but as a member of parliament I guess I have to look at a couple of bits of information,” Mr Parnell.

Mr Parnell would meet with local resident that had abandoned their own homes due to claims of sleep disruption caused by the vibrations and noise of the turbines.

A member of an investigative committee for wind farms in South Australia’s Legislative Council, Mr Parnell said there were thousands of wind farms around the world, but concentrated reported effects seemed to be localised.

“The health impacts seemed to be particularly an Australian phenomenon.”

Mr Parnell said one night would not enable him to experience all of the different kinds of problems people were reporting, but he believed it was a good start.

He said committee members may stay in one of the abandoned homes, with the owner’s permission, as a second stage to the experiment to experience a variety of conditions.

Mary Morris, an advocate for the removal of wind farms, lives 17 kilometres from the Waterloo wind farm and said Mr Parnell needs to be sleeping in a house downwind of the turbines to experience the effects.

Ms Morris said the Waterloo wind farm turbines were placed within 300m of each other, a distance she believed was too close according to the wind industry’s standards, which may be resulting in the localisation of the reported problems.

“He does need to be in a house where there is resonance and vibration.”

She was glad that Mr Parnell was visiting the area to meet local residents and hear their concerns.

“We’re looking forward to educating him,” Ms Morris said.

“There needs to be a lot more research done and people need to come to Waterloo, where the turbines are too close together and too close to the people, and do the research there.”