STT has been celebrating the fact that – with the Coalition’s win and its promised RET review about to kick-off soon – the chances of any more giant fans being erected in Australia are slimmer than a German supermodel.
With the threat of any further turbine terror from new wind farms fading fast, we turn our attention to the victims of Australia’s greatest planning and public health disasters.
The nightmare that is AGL’s Macarthur wind farm began operating in October last year – the first 30 fired up then. All 140 giant 3MW Vestas V112s kicked into gear in about February this year.
Ever since, the locals have been driven absolutely insane with incessant low-frequency noise and infra-sound.
AGL (aka “Australia’s Greatest Liars”) have been running interference in relation to noise problems from the very start.
The incompetent bunch of goons that they hired to do the acoustic work fudged data, lost data, and made up the rest.
Macarthur residents have hired their own careful, independent acoustic engineers to do proper methodical studies into noise impacts, which include full spectrum testing – something that AGL and its pet acoustic consultants have not done and will never do. The low-frequency testing done by AGL used the same method discredited by Steve Cooper a while back.
STT has seen the work done by the locals’ acoustic experts and – without a shadow of a doubt – it demonstrates that the noise levels generated do not and will never satisfy the noise conditions of AGL’s planning consent.
Of course, with the AFP’s investigation into the unlawful receipt of Renewable Energy Certificates underway, it is clearly not in AGL’s interest to fess up to its non-compliance problems at Macarthur. On the contrary AGL have run full-page ads in local papers proclaiming their “innocence”. Among spin doctors, it’s called “getting on the front foot”.
The locals, however, know better.
Thanks to some brilliant work by STT Champion, Anne Schafer the tragic suffering of locals has been recorded in a community survey. Here’s a link to the survey.
And here’s local rag, The Standard’s take on the story.
Turbine opponents release own health impact study
10 September 2013
WIND farm opponents in Macarthur are again making a case to be heard over claimed health impacts, releasing a lengthy community survey.
The preliminary report commissioned by the Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network, an anti-wind farm group, has compiled complaints and apparent symptoms caused by turbines.
It will be sent to various health departments in a bid to get an authoritative study done.
Both levels of government are refusing to accept claims that turbines cause health issues and anti-wind campaigners and residents are relying on a handful of acousticians and GPs to back their claims of headaches and nausea.
About 84 people filled out questionnaires, with 63 claiming their health had been affected, according to the report.
All 63 said their sleep had suffered since the wind farm began operating.
“Of real concern is that children are included as part of respondents’ households and are being impacted,” the report states.
However, the survey lacks independence and is authored by a resident opposed to the construction of a wind farm near her own home in Berrybank.
Report author Anne Schafer acknowledges midway through the report that her “interest in wind energy began soon after she and her husband purchased their property and found that a wind facility was proposed next to it”.
“I understand that but it’s what has started my interest,” she told The Standard.
“We are concerned that we won’t be able to live here.”
Ms Schafer said The Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network had contacted her to undertake the survey.
The survey refers to complaints about subaudible noise called infrasound but also lists comments likening the wind farm to “a jet engine overhead … an unrelenting drone … a truck that never arrives”.
But AGL has maintained that noise levels, in particular infrasound blamed for health effects, has not changed since construction of the Macarthur wind farm.
“Although we take all allegations of health problems seriously and investigate any complaints, there is currently no credible peer-reviewed scientific evidence to link wind turbines to adverse health effects,” an AGL spokesperson said.
In July the company released a voluntarily-commissioned report by independent acousticians that was then peer reviewed.
“This research demonstrates that there was no measurable change in the infrasound levels measured before and after construction of the Macarthur wind farm,” AGL’s power development general manager Scott Thomas said.
“AGL has undertaken the most extensive and rigorous research by a wind farm operator in Australia and also has gone above and beyond its regulatory requirements.”
Researchers at RMIT University in Hamilton had hoped to conduct a scientific study into health claims in 2012 but were unable to secure funding.
Meanwhile, the opponents are likely to find a sympathetic ear in the new Coalition government.
Wannon MP Dan Tehan has voiced calls for an independent study into health impacts.
Two more wind farms are proposed at Penshurst and Willatook.
STT says: “hats off, Anne Schafer.” Marvelous work.
One consolation is that – with the Coalition about to take control – there will be no need for any more DIY health surveys.
STT hears that the movers and shakers within the Coalition are ready to ensure that legislation is passed asap that will result in fully independent, multidisciplinary research into the known and obvious impacts of low-frequency noise and infra-sound from giant industrial wind turbines – recognised health impacts, such as sleep deprivation.
STT hears that the work will be done by a hand-picked crew – including the best of the best from overseas – and will have nothing to do with our rotten little NHMRC.
In response to The Standard’s piece above, long-suffering Macarthur local, Chris Jelbart wrote to the paper explaining what it’s like to live with turbine noise day in day out.
As one leading acoustic expert, Dr Bob Thorne says: “trying to explain wind turbine noise to someone who has never experienced it, is like trying to explain a migraine to someone who has never had a headache.”
Tragically, Chris has not only experienced turbine noise, her day to day life has been destroyed by it.
From: Chris JelbartSent: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:05 PM
Subject: wind farm noise
I write in answer both to Nick Thies (Saturday letter), and to AGL (Tuesday Standard article). No-one who has not lived next to a wind farm can speak about the effects.
Multi-disciplinary scientific research has NOT been carried out. Any evidence is usually produced by groups or individuals who don’t want the truth known. Any evidence contrary to their views is ignored.
The extensive testing done by AGL by “independent” acoustic companies rely on parameters set by AGL so that full spectrum testing is not done. Sounds or noise that they don’t want are filtered out. Their testing could be compared with Collingwood being able to choose their own umpire on Saturday. I am sure the result would have been to Collingwood’s advantage.
The Senate recommended TWO years ago that research should be done, but nothing has happened. Now people surrounding the Macarthur Wind Energy Facility are suffering the consequences.
Why should we have to put up with disturbed and broken night’s sleep? Why should I have to hang over the sink dry-retching as I get lunch organised for the day? (I am 58 and not pregnant.) Why should my friends and neighbours suffer headaches, palpitations and head pressure? Why should families have to leave their homes to escape the effects of both audible and inaudible noise?
Not all people suffer from these problems. Some began experiencing symptoms immediately, for me it took at least 6 months. Others around the district are becoming more aware of problems as time goes on. It is NOT Simon Chapman’s nocebo effect. Some of those suffering believed we were talking utter nonsense 12 months ago.
We have to put up with the ridicule of people who live in their cities and towns with no clue of what is happening in our homes, expressing their disbelief at our suffering.
If AGL truly believes that their WEF at Macarthur is compliant, and not causing the distress that the surrounding residents are suffering, then it should encourage totally independent research to refute our suggestion to the contrary.
Chris tells a tale told by thousands of unfortunates around the world.
STT is very pleased that Australia’s new government is about to draw a line under this fiasco – and that the scope of the suffering will be limited to neighbours of existing wind farms.
The Coalition will introduce the Draft Excessive Noise legislation promoted by Nick Xenophon and John Madigan which – as well as forcing wind weasels to hand over noise and wind speed data, which they steadfastly refuse to do – will deprive non-compliant wind farms of their ability to receive RECs, using a “beefed-up” version of s30E of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 – the amendment will make removing accreditation for RECs mandatory rather than discretionary, as the section currently reads.
STT is also very pleased that the Coalition will investigate not only the health problems, but will also go after those operators who are falsely declaring that they are entitled to be accredited to receive RECs – it’s an offence under s125E of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, but the Clean Energy Regulator has been turning a blind eye to it – but not for much longer.
But – for the time being – these small consolations are no consolation at all to people like Chris Jelbart and hundreds of other Australians just like her.
This “green” tyranny must stop.
Let your Federal Coalition MPs know that enough is enough – why not start with a Postcard.
Let them know you want the Coalition to send in the bounty hunters to round up these fraudsters, before they do any more damage to hard working rural people, like Chris Jelbart.