I am a wind turbine host

Comment posted on STT, 17 February, 2003

david mortimerI am a wind turbine host from South Australia and read the NSW Farmers Association guide. I was horrified and wondered if the organisation had been bought out by the wind industry.

Incidentally, I have recently had an acoustic monitoring of the inside of our home over a three week period which shows high levels of infra sound consistent with the number of turbines at a distance of 2.5km from our home.

Since we moved into our home in 2006, I have had “wind turbine syndrome” like health issues and learned in early 2012 that it may be the turbines causing the problems. The wind industry claim that I only started to complain about the existing wind farm after discovering that a new one with bigger turbines was to be erected 2km upwind of our home.

I found out about the proposed wind farm in December 2010 – why in the name of goodness would I wait until 2012 to complain? In short, like everybody else, I didn’t know. It was sheer chance that I heard of infra sound problems March 2012.

– David Mortimer

The Border Watch

June 6, 2012

Health issues raised in wind farm debate

PULSING sensations in the head, ringing in the ears and nocturnal panic attacks are some of the symptoms which Millicent beef producer David Mortimer claims have led him to consider suicide.

Mr Mortimer almost broke down while giving evidence against Infigen Energy’s proposed Woakwine wind farm to Wattle Range Council’s independent Development Assessment Panel (DAP).

The DAP welcomed comments from residents on Monday as part of the decision making process on the approval of the proposed windfarm.

“To have the continuous pulsing in your head, it is like your brain getting squeezed, you can’t get away from it, there is no escape, I can put in ear plugs, but it is still there,” Mr Mortimer said.

“I get nocturnal panic attacks at night – I don’t know what I’m trying to get away from.”

During the day Mr Mortimer experienced dizziness, feelings of his heart being in high speed “flutter” mode, fits of depression and wanted to go to sleep “and not wake up”.

“I’ve considered suicide when I’ve been in a state of depression, and I’ve never been that way before,” he said.

“My wife experiences acute bouts of dizziness and loss of balance that only occurs when we are home.

“Clinical tests have failed to find a cause and medications have had no effect.”

They did not experience any of the symptoms until “after the (Lake Bonney) turbines were commissioned and in operation,” Mr Mortimer said.

Many years ago Mr Mortimer and his wife signed a confidentiality agreement to receive thousands of dollars annually for two Lake Bonney wind turbines on their farm.

One was 750 metres from their house and the symptoms started within a year, but they did not believe they were caused by the turbines.

But unable to stand the whooshing sound, they purchased a 10 acre block and built an energy efficient dream home, 2.5km from the nearest turbine.

However, he claims they were still affected, although symptoms disappeared as soon as they left their new home for one or two days.

If Infigen Energy‘s wind farm is approved, the view from the Mortimer’s new home will no longer be sunsets across coastal dunes and water, but an arc of 23 turbines.

“In the quantities proposed, in no man’s language could the frantic tangle of knives in the sky be considered aesthetically pleasing, especially when they are in ones face day after day for the rest of our lives,” Mr Mortimer said.

Lake Bonney resident Katherine Downs presented a letter on behalf of Lake Bonney wind farm owners highlighting a heads of agreement “that no windmill will be placed further northward than on top of Elephant Hill”.

She gave evidence the document was recognised by council, and on that basis she and her husband purchased their property.

Mrs Downs said she and her husband were never advised of Infigen’s proposed Woakwine wind farm.

She already had a turbine 1.5km from her home and “we do hear them quite loudly when the wind blows from the east”, even when the doors and windows are closed.

Mrs Downs slammed the current development process as “secretive, underhanded and destructive to all of the property owners”.

parliament house demo

Farm Weekly

August 30, 2012

SA farmers warn of wind farm impacts

By Bobbie Hinkley

SOUTH Australian beef farmers David and Alida Mortimer have warned Kojonup shire residents of the potential dangers associated with wind turbines.

Mr Mortimer, an electrical engineer with the Royal Australian Navy from 1965-1988, believed under-handed persuasion tactics by wind farm companies and adverse health conditions caused by the movement and sound frequencies produced by turbines were only the tip of the iceberg when it came to potential problems.

After being approached in 1996 to host four turbines on their Millicent property, 400 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, the Mortimers signed an ‘option to lease’ document which locked them into a 25-year lease with an option of another two terms – a deal which could see their land tied up for 75 years as part of the now largest wind farm development in the southern hemisphere.

Earlier this month, the Mortimers broke a stringent confidentiality clause to warn wind farm stakeholders about the impact of option to lease documents.

david and alidaThe Mortimers willingly signed the document as a step in the process which eventually saw two 1.75 megawatt turbines installed 700 metres from their house nearly eight years after the project’s initial proposal.

The Mortimers profit $10,000 a year for hosting their two turbines but said they would happily return the money if it would put an end to the heart problems, tinnitus and dizzy spells they experience which Mr Mortimer attributed to the turbines.

“It’s a fact of physics that acoustic energy travels faster and further through the ground than it does through the air,” Mr Mortimer wrote in a recent submission to the South Australian Select Committee on Wind Farms.

“The energy, or infra sound, which could adversely impact physiologically on the human body is most likely to take the subterranean path.

“This is similar to the tin-can telephone most children have played with.

“The wind turbine acts like a large loud speaker in the ground and the earth as the taut piece of string.

“A house or similar structure placed in the acoustic field acts like the tin can on the receiving end and concentrates the sound within it as a pressure wave or pulse.”

Mr Mortimer said his story was only one of many but he wanted Kojonup land owners to be aware of the potential implications before signing up to host any number of wind turbines.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. The wind industry always finds excuses for anyone who complains. They deny continually that turbines cause problems. Every contract has clauses that stop people from saying anything negative. You are brave for speaking out. I met you both at Canberra and know you are truthful people but typical of the wind industry they fail to prove their side but condemn you for your problems. Take care we will win in the end

  2. ex Green now Milne is in charge says:

    The Mortimer’s courage, honesty and integrity to speak “truth to power” deserve a standing ovation.

    The industry deserve to fail unless they fully acknowledge the problems honestly and openly and work to a solution. Any evidence yet??? Just like Hardies and asbestos…

  3. Jackie Rovensky says:

    David, you are a man of honour, I hope all who read this will take note of the true facts you explain so well.

  4. Harry Makris says:

    …thank you Donna……
    …yes pray…..we don’t get fooled again……

  5. Reblogged this on Quixotes Last Stand.


  1. […] will meet the toughest noise standards in the world“; that: “the only people that complain are those that aren’t getting paid“; that: “modern wind turbines don’t produce infrasound“; that: “the NHMRC said that the […]

  2. […] their health caused by the fans they’re paid to host is a matter of public record (see our posts here and […]

  3. […] It also ignores turbine hosts, like David and Elida Mortimer. […]

  4. […] the toughest noise standards in the world“; that: “the only people that complain are those that aren’t getting paid“; that: “modern wind turbines don’t produce infrasound“; that: “the […]

  5. […] mate, you’re an embarrassment.  Again, what about the Mortimers? What about the gag agreements which prevent people  from speaking […]

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