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Waubra name wrestle

Waubra residents will present the Waubra Foundation with a petition calling on it to change its name.

The foundation has come under fire for its use of the town’s name despite having only a loose affiliation with the Waubra township where Acciona’s 192-megawatt wind farm operates.

According to its website, Waubra Foundation is “a national Australian organisation formed in 2010 to facilitate properly conducted … research into the new health problems identified by residents living near wind turbines”.

Last week three prominent people, including former federal MP Alby Schultz, announced new associations with the foundation.

Mr Schultz was named as the first patron of the foundation and Charlie Arnott, of the famous biscuit company, and Alexandra Nicol, a former staffer for Western Australian Liberal Senator Chris Back, have been named as directors.

The trio all live hundreds of kilometres from the Western District town of Waubra.

The foundation’s chief, Sarah Laurie, lives in South Australia.

“Waubra Foundation office holders live between 122 and 793km from Waubra, a combined total of 3171km away,” Friends of the Earth Yes 2 Renewables spokesman Leigh Ewbank said.

“Such vast distances stretch their claim to use the town’s name.

“It’s time for the foundation to respect the wishes of locals and stop using the name.”

Ms Laurie said residents were “more than entitled to put their concerns to us” and she would take a possible name change to the board for consideration, but the problem of “noise pollution” from wind turbines was the real issue at heart.

“Waubra Foundation was the name of the organisation when I joined and we have continued to use it to represent the courage of the sick people who have spoken out against it (wind turbine associated-noise),” Ms Laurie said.

“There’s some really important issues for the township of Waubra and, indeed, for the turbine hosts to confront in terms of the damage that noise pollution has done since the turbines started operation.”