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Turbines health study ‘irrelevant’

A major draft review dismissing the link between wind turbines and health complaints doesn’t apply to the Macarthur wind farm because its evidence is too old, opponents say.

The report by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released on Monday found “no direct evidence” that wind turbines lead to health problems such as dizziness, insomnia and headaches – a view held by residents living near a number of wind farms around Australia.

Opponents of the Macarthur wind farm say the seven studies reviewed in the NHMRC report were completed before Macarthur began operating in 2012 and doesn’t take into account the larger three-megawatt V112 Vestas turbines.

Farmer and outspoken wind farm critic Annie Gardner said the review was “totally irrelevant to Macarthur”.

“There weren’t any three-megawatt turbines used before Macarthur,” Ms Gardner said. “It’s taken them two years to issue this draft. It’s an enormous waste of taxpayer money.”

Ms Gardner put more hope in a separate health impacts study being prepared by the federal government.

“Canberra is getting onto it. It will all come out in the end. It really is severe. It affects your entire body. It needs multi-disciplinary research.”

Anti-wind farm groups such as the Waubra Foundation echoed calls for specialist doctors and acousticians to do the study. In a statement yesterday the Waubra Foundation said it was “delighted” by NHMRC’s comment that more research needed to be done.

“We look forward to seeing the multi-disciplinary research, announced by the Prime Minister, conducted as soon as possible,” it said.