Tony Abbott flags the Mother of all Wind Farm Health Inquiries

Tony Abbott

The Action Man spells out the death of the RET.

 

STT Champion, Alan Jones is taking a well-earned summer break and 2GB stablemate, Andrew Moore is keeping his seat warm till he gets back. Andrew got to speak with Action Man Abbott about the energy market debacle caused by the RET and giant fans. Here’s part of his interview with the PM on 9 January 2014 (2.36; transcript follows).

AM: Just one last thing, because you’ve got to rush off.

Wind farms – now this is something that Alan has spoken about frequently both when you were in Opposition and now as Prime Minister. There was a report in The Australian yesterday, that the Government is set to commission fresh research. Is that right? And will it again be with the National Health and Medical Research Council?

PM: Look from time to time we do need to refresh the research, we do need to consider whether there have been new facts that impact on old judgements – and that is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It is some years since the NH&MRC last looked at this issue, why not do it again?

On the broader question though, we have a terrible problem with high priced power in this country. The Carbon Tax has been a key driver of power prices in the last year or so.  That will go! It will go quickly (I hope) but it will certainly go under this Government – we will get rid of the Carbon tax and that is the best thing we can do to get power prices down. We do also have to have a look at the impact of renewable energy on power prices. The problem, at this stage, with renewable energy, is that there’s always got to be a back up. Because sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. If the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, the power doesn’t flow. That is a simple fact and that’s why we are going to have a good, long, hard look at this – with the fundamental objective of doing what we can to get power prices down.

Australia, should be Andrew, the affordable energy capital of the world. We have a super-abundance of coal, we have a super-abundance of gas, these are the drivers of prosperity – and let’s make sure we can get access to them at the lowest possible price.

AM: Prime Minister, I’ve got about 14 sheets worth of notes that we can’t get to there is so much on your agenda, but I do appreciate you very much coming in. I hope you have a very successful 2014 – it does seem that there is confidence returning to the Australian people – business and people are happy to spend some money again.

PM: I certainly do detect the green shoots of spring – at least in some areas – and Andrew – look, I hope everyone has a really good 2014. It’s not about me – it’s about our country, its people, our prosperity, our future – and that’s my dedication – to try to ensure a better life for our people.

AM: Thanks for coming in

PM: Thanks Andrew

AM: The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

Hungry to print anything uttered by Tony, the press went into a frenzy after the Action Man’s appearance on 2GB. Here’s one example from The Australian.

Abbott backs review of wind farms
The Australian
Pia Akerman
10 January 2014

TONY Abbott has reiterated his support for further research on the health effects of wind farms, despite a mixed response from the states that may be asked to help pay for the scientific work.

The federal government’s proposal for a National Health and Medical Research Council-led study, revealed by The Australian, has received a lukewarm reaction from South Australia, where almost half of the country’s turbines are situated, while Victoria and Western Australia are on board.

The Prime Minister yesterday was enthusiastic about more research on the controversial topic, despite the NHMRC previously finding there was insufficient published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects.

“From time to time we do need to refresh the research; we do need to consider whether there have been new facts that impact on old judgments, and that is a perfectly reasonable thing to do,” Mr Abbott said.

“It is some years since the NHMRC last looked at this issue: why not do it again?”

Victorian Health Minister David Davis has called for co-operation between the states and commonwealth in gathering more evidence about the ramifications of living near turbines.

“We want to ensure that the best scientific evidence is available as a base for the community to reflect on this, but also for decision-making on a policy level,” he said.

“Anything that advances our understanding and improves our capacity to make considered scientific decisions is welcome.”

Victoria, which has Australia’s second largest wind energy industry, has already offered $100,000 for more research.

West Australian Energy Minister Mike Nahan said he would welcome a “rigorous study” into possible health effects.

South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling said his government had no intention of committing funding at this stage.

“We would want to see more detail about what the federal government was hoping to achieve with further research before commenting any further,” he said.

The NSW and Queensland health departments said they would support further research.
The Australian

It seems that Pia Akerman has trouble distinguishing between the “absence of evidence” of a relationship and evidence proving that no relationship exists.

It’s an easy mistake for a rookie to make.

Facts and evidence are very different things: evidence may support the existence of a fact, but the mere absence of evidence does not disprove the fact in issue.  Simply because – as in this case – evidence on a particular relationship has not been properly gathered does not mean – as a matter of fact – that the relationship in question does not exist.

Facts

Exist independent of the evidence that goes to prove or disprove them.

 

The Coalition’s planned inquiry will do what should have been done as soon as people started being driven out of their homes at Toora and Waubra – ie provide conclusive evidence to prove the fact of the relationship between low-frequency noise and infra-sound and the sensations and symptoms experienced by people who’ve been driven from their homes or who are being driven nuts when they’re in them.

In our post yesterday, we provided a pretty fair explanation as to why Australian wind farm victims – like Jan Hetherington from Macarthur – are more than just a little suspicious about the NHMRC having any meaningful involvement with the Coalition’s planned study on the impact of giant fans on neighbours’ health.  You see, the only piece of “work” that the NHMRC has produced on the health impacts of giant fans was its disgraceful 2010 “Rapid Review” (see our post here).

The wind industry had its hands all over it and – as we explained yesterday – was no more than an incomplete survey of a few pieces of “selected” work tossed up by the wind industry.

The Rapid Review completely missed the comprehensive work done by Neil Kelley & Co during the 1980s which proved the link between low-frequency noise and adverse health impacts suffered by neighbours (see our post here).

No surprises that SA Labor’s Health Minister, Jack Snelling refused to commit to any research.  SA Labor got the “answers” it wanted from the SA EPA’s “noise-wash” at Waterloo (see our post here).

When you’ve had a bunch of (mostly unqualified) incompetents create the (almost) perfect smokescreen (see our post here) why would you want real professionals (ie properly qualified acoustic consultants, sleep and medical experts, say) messing that up?

The Labor party in SA – like its Federal counterpart – runs on the “grease” provided by unions – which in turn – run on the $billions that union run and backed outfits like Gary Weaven’s Pac Hydro filch in RECs from power consumers under the mandatory RET (see our post here).

Jack Snelling is clearly not about to bite the hand that feeds him.  However, STT thinks that Jack Snelling won’t be in a position to ignore the health of his constituents for much longer.  Come the State election in March, Jack will be relegated to bleating in opposition and pleading for his wind industry mates from the other side of the house.

jack-snelling

Jack Snelling – all gloved-up and ready to protect union super
fund investments in wind power- couldn’t care less about the
health of SA’s wind farm victims.

 

STT is pleased to hear that his Victorian (Liberal) counterpart is receptive to the Federal Coalition’s planned study.  But it appears that David Davis’ offer of $100,000 for research is based on 1970s prices.  Davis is going to need to (at the very least) add a zero to get anywhere near what this work is likely to cost – 100 grand will go in a heartbeat.

But Davis might just get a little hurry up to really open his cheque book, as a result of events brewing at Macarthur.

STT hears that the long-suffering residents there are about to call on their Health Minister to properly fulfil his responsibilities to them under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 – under which he’s charged with “promoting and protecting the public health and wellbeing of persons in Victoria”.

STT thinks that obligation might just extend to Jan Hetherington and the 30 or so other farming families who are being belted night after merciless night by low-frequency noise and infra-sound from AGL’s 140 giant Vestas fans.

What’s that you say about government of the people, by the people, for the people?

daviddaviseastyork_1400760c

David Davis will have to scratch out a cheque for a lot more than $100,000.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Susan Kennedy says:

    I agree with you David – Pacific Hydro claimed the same here in Keyneton but never consulted with US either and we are 2km away from the nearest wind turbine!!! We only found out about the proposed wind “farm” after visiting an info day. To say I was shattered is an understatement. My neighbour who is hosting part of the “farm”, came up to me on the day with a massive grin on his face and said “they will be a tourist attraction.” I have been in shock ever since, thinking that they were in secret talks for over 10 years and we knew nothing about it. Now the 42 turbine wind “farm” is approved and we are all gutted. The majority were against the development but it went ahead anyway – thanks to Mr Rau, Labors Planning Minister. How is that democracy when the majority were against the development and just ONE person has the right to say yea or nay??? Many have been saying it was a done “deal” all along.

  2. $100,000.00 will pay for a rubber stamp, that says that everyone is imagining their symptoms, and nothing more. If they are seriously considering studying the effects of the wind turbines, they need to study people who are willing to live near turbines, or the study is completely unethical. You are supposed to be able to opt out of a study, when the effects become unbearable. How do you do that, when the negative stimuli, are surrounding your home?

  3. If our PM Tony Abbott does’t sort out this fraudulent mess of the fans, people that live near these pieces of crap WILL GO APE S$$T because they are getting pushed beyound there limits, because of the low frequency noise and infrasound that is playing havoc with their health.

  4. David Mortimer says:

    A lousy $100,000? Get real. It is going to cost millions.

    Like the Neil Kelley NASA research which required the construction of a purpose built turbine set up and in which the study was carried on over a protracted period, it will require the same approach here. Why? Simply because we can not trust the wind weasels to cooperate fully nor the land owners who host these things. Not only that, the grid managers would go bananas trying to stabilise a situation where massive wind farm inputs were being switched on and off.

    It really made my day today when I read in our local paper that Infigen expect to commence construction of the Woakwine wind farm in about 18 months. This criminal organisation is going to place around 23 massive 150 metre tall 3.5 megawatt fans directly in front of our home on the up wind side of the prevailing winds, 2km away and spaced out like a picket fence. Not only the noise but the afternoon blade flicker.

    They never once consulted us despite claiming to the DAP that they were consulting with all land owners out to 5 km radius. Liars!!!
    No wonder the SA government doesn’t want to get involved, they obviously have their hands in the wind weasel’s pockets.

Trackbacks

  1. […] his distaste for corporate welfare; we’ve covered a little of it in our posts here and here and here.  The PM is determined to bring the wind industry to an end; the only question is precisely how […]

  2. […] Tony Abbott has made no secret of his eagerness to do away with the most colossal corporate welfare scheme in the history of the Commonwealth (see our posts here and here and here). […]

  3. […] Coalition have promised to do precisely that with their planned health inquiry into wind farms (see our post here). STT hears that the inquiry will have nothing to do with the NHMRC but, instead, will involve […]

  4. […] it would be the funniest joke ever told. Fortunately, for Australians the Head Boy, Tony Abbott is all set to scrap the RET, so the “gag” won’t last for much […]

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