Farmers from across the country have described a constant rumbling and pulsing in their heads and a feeling of oppressive anxiety they attribute to wind power.
About 150 people from small towns across the country turned up to a three-hour rally at Canberra’s Parliament House hosted by shock jock Alan Jones, who was keen to keep the tone polite.
In scenes very different to the infamous carbon tax protest on the same spot in 2011, where protesters held offensive placards including “ditch the witch”, Mr Jones reminded those gathered “to be very peaceful and make sure the argument wins the day”.
“So be careful of your placards and make sure they are all in very good taste.”
He told the crowd companies were terrorising rural communities and if there were no issues with wind power, turbines should be erected in his home Macquarie Street in Sydney.
But the rally also heard from everyday farmers upset with turbines in their communities.
Retired Naval electronics engineering officer and beef farmer David Mortimer said he and his wife had been “wind turbine tragics” when they accepted a $12,000-a-year deal to host them on their land at Millicent, SA.
They now have four turbines 2.5km from their home they say have robbed them of their health and 17 more are planned for close by.
Mr Mortimer now suffers night-time panic attacks, acute anxiety, heart palpitations, tinnitus, earaches, headaches and angina-like pains and his wife has dizzy spells, although both have been cleared by doctors.
“I get this sensation of absolute acute anxiety and it feels like someone is pushing an x-ray blanket over me and weighting me down into the chair and I can’t get out … I feel like I’m on narcotics,” he said.
“We’ve got this constant turmoil, constant pulsing in our head, constant rumbling … deep, drumming rumbling.”
“The new ones they want to put in are going to kill us.”
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh dismissed the claims, saying no international research had attributed health impacts to wind power.
When away from home, the silence was like a vacuum, he said.
Lyn Jarvis, from Wellington, is fighting plans for turbines across from her NSW stud beef farm, said she was saddened to see so many people in her position.
“The wind industry, they brand us,” she said.
“I’m not a bloody activist, I’m a farmer. I don’t want to be here.
“We’re not activists, we’re trying to protect what’s ours.”
She said there was not enough research into the effects of wind energy.
Coalition senators who spoke promised an Abbott Government would review the renewable energy target that at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020 and claimed wind energy was costly and received too many taxpayer subsidies.
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