NSW Senator – David Leyonhjelm – Hammers the “Smug Untouchability” of the wind industry

Senator David Leyonhelm

Senator David Leyonhelm: Captain Common Sense to the rescue.


David Leyonhjelm is the Liberal Democratic Party Senator for New South Wales. David’s insights into the great wind power fraud have graced STT’s pages on a number of occasions (see our posts here and here and here).

David is one of the 8 cross-benchers who effectively control Australia’s Federal Parliament, whenever the Green/Labor Alliance gang up to stop legislation put up by the Liberal/National Coalition.

David is also on the Senate’s Inquiry into the great wind power fraud (see our post here); and, from his experience on that Committee, penned this little piece that appeared in the Australian last week.

End the smug untouchability of the wind industry
The Australian
David Leyonhjelm
10 June 2015

Evidence is mounting about the health hazards of infrasound

Late last year a group of rural residents met me to discuss their concerns over wind farms in their communities. They came from different areas and presented as sensible, down to earth people who you would be pleased to have as neighbours.

What I heard was a litany of planning ineptitude, government and industry indifference, and people becoming sick in homes they had lived in for decades.

I was so disturbed by this I moved a motion in the Senate to establish a committee to inquire into the regulation and governance of wind farms. All government and most crossbench senators supported my motion.

The inquiry has its fifth public hearing today. Although there are more to come, some matters are now apparent.

Firstly, it is beyond dispute wind turbines emit infrasound and low frequency noise, much of which is inaudible to most people. It is also well established that inappropriate levels of infrasound, regardless of the source, cause adverse health impacts.

We have known this since 1987, when Neil Kelley identified a direct causal link between impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise, and adverse effects on people. Research by NASA two years later established wind turbines could generate surprisingly high levels of infrasound and low frequency noise.

It is also clear that 10 to 15 per cent of the population is more sensitive to noise, including low frequency noise and infrasound. It is a mystery why some people are affected and not others, but their symptoms are similar to motion sickness, which also only affects some people.

I have met some of those affected. They tell me they mainly suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, but some also suffer sinus pressure, tinnitus, pains in the chest, headaches, nausea, and vertigo. Their symptoms vary, but the similarities are striking for people who live so far apart.

This is not just a problem with wind turbines. Infrasound from any source has the potential to make people sick, including people living close to huge ventilator fans in coal mines or near gas and coal-fired power stations. Indeed, the federal government confirmed this in 2009.

The evidentiary finger points mainly at the big turbines erected in Australia over the past few years, many taller than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, that produce more infrasound and broadcast it over a larger area than smaller, older turbines. Around 1800 more turbines of the same or greater size will be built over the next five years, following government and Labor agreeing on a new renewable energy target of 33,000 GWh.

What disturbs me about this is that, as the inquiry has heard, wind farms are not required to limit or even monitor their infrasound emissions. And unless something changes, it is absolutely certain that tens of thousands of people who live within a few kilometres of these new turbines will become sick.

Some argue the evidence linking wind turbines to adverse health effects is too tenuous to warrant action. It is true that it is not yet well understood. Nonetheless, there is already quite a lot of evidence and it is building.

A study by Australian acoustician Steven Cooper demonstrated some people can sense infrasound even though they cannot see or hear the turbines. And doctors in Germany are now calling for a halt to further wind farm developments until more is known.

Unfortunately, the attitude of the wind industry and its representatives — such as the Australian Wind Alliance — towards the people affected by wind farms is completely callous. At a recent Senate hearing, one wind farm manager attempted to table a cartoon that lampooned their claims and suggested senators colour it in.

Others told us residents living near wind farms who wake in the middle of the night, with excruciating pressure in their heads, should receive counselling — suggesting they have a psychological problem, not a physiological one.

Big Wind’s attitude derives from a sense of smug untouchability. Because the science is still not fully understood, it can be rejected. Because they are part of the renewable energy sector, they are beyond reproach. And they have contact books full of journalists who will join them in the name-calling, despite few ever spending a night within whirring distance of a wind turbine.

Giving evidence, wind farm operators even denied owing a duty of care to nearby residents so long as they comply with what are clearly deficient regulations. This reminds me of Big Tobacco’s denials 50 years ago that cigarettes cause lung cancer.

By the time further studies are published in recognised journals following peer review, many more people will have suffered. The fact we are not yet at that stage is no excuse for inaction and will not absolve the wind industry from liability for its negligent refusal to mitigate the harm it causes.

Facing up to the consequences of its actions will not put the wind industry out of business. That will only occur if governments stop providing subsidies. The solution may be as simple as preventing turbines operating in synchronisation, which some believe causes amplification of infrasound, or requiring greater distances between turbines and residences.

Whatever emerges from the inquiry, it’s clear government and industry indifference towards people suffering because of their proximity to wind turbines needs to end. Like doctors, governments should at least do no harm.

David Leyonhjelm is Liberal Democrats Senator for NSW.
The Australian

Nice work, David! The Senator from New South Wales hardly puts a foot wrong in a piece that could well have been written by STT (no, it wasn’t).

David is right on the money when he refers to the work done by NASA, way back in 1987, “when Neil Kelley identified a direct causal link between impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise, and adverse effects on people.”:

Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge

And he’s on a hat-trick with his reference to the German Medico’s call for a complete halt to wind farm construction in order to “do no harm” and to avoid thousands of malpractice suits:

German Medicos Demand Moratorium on New Wind Farms

And David has a nice little crack at the gormless clowns that front wind power outfits; like RATCH’s Joseph Hallenstein – people who ‘think’ (we use that term loosely) that making fun of the wind industry’s thousands of unnecessary victims somehow advances the wind industry’s cause:

Thai Turbine-Terrorist, RATCH Scores Monumental “Own Goal” during Senate’s Wind Farm Inquiry

The only quibble, and it’s a minor one, is the suggestion that, in relation to the generation of incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound, the “solution may be as simple as preventing turbines operating in synchronisation”.

That suggestion arose from the evidence given by Dr Andrew Bell to the Senate Inquiry a week or so back (see the Hansard here). Dr Bell, a scientist who has studied acoustics reasons that:

I am basically a theoretician. I am a scientist who has studied acoustics, I have studied physics and I have studied the human hearing mechanism, so the idea of wind turbines attracted my interest in the light of the NHMRC making a review of the subject. That brought me up sharp when I realised that there seemed to be a common-sense contradiction built in there somewhere. So I read the NHMRC review, and to me there seemed to be missing factors in the monitoring of wind turbine noise. Based on my understanding of physics, I think it is due to a possible synchronisation phenomenon that happens between each of the wind turbines. If that happens, the sound pressure levels will be higher than usually expected and they will fluctuate; and there will be large low-pressure variations which could affect the ear—in particular, the middle ear—which is something that seems to have been overlooked in studies of infrasound perception.

As Dr Bell notes he is “basically a theoretician”. Now, no criticism there – scientific endeavour is all based on popping up a theory, against which evidence is thrown, with the aim of disproving that theory (see our post here).

However, at a practical and engineering level, there is simply no way that the movement of hundreds of 56m blades (with their outer tips spinning at over 350 km an hour) can be coordinated in the manner suggested by Dr Bell. STT reckons it to be similar, as to degree of difficulty, to choreographing the angels that, apparently, congregate on the heads of pins, to perform a microscopic performance of Swan Lake.


Conducting angels dancing on pinheads is easier than organising this lot.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. David Leyonhjelm is a real trooper and he does not put up with any crap, as we saw when he told the ‘flat earthers’ to f–k off!

    The truth behind the thuggery of the wind industry, supported by the lying pro wind mob, is finally coming to light at the Senate Inquiry hearings.

    The pro wind mob have tried their hardest to assassinate the characters of Senators Leyonhjelm and Madigan, but they have failed miserably.

    Keep up the good work, Senators, the truth will prevail.


  2. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    Senators at the Inquiry have provided an avenue for people to express their disgust and provide evidence of how this industry has been allowed to become the sole decision makers on where they will install their industrial machinery, with support of State Governments who have changed Planning Regulations and/or allowed unfettered support to the IWT industry.

    Even though the Environment belongs to us all and Governments are meant to look after the interests of their constituents.

    The Inquiry has provided an avenue for people to voice in public the harm caused and the incredibly crude and harmful way they have been treated by Governments, the IWT industry, its employees, its supporters and those who parrot what the industry and its trained academic dummies spit out on a regular basis.

    How is it some who should know better, or at least investigate thoroughly before they speak have been so wholeheartedly conned by the hard sell from this industry. Have we trained some academics to only look at things with a tunnelled vision?

    The Inquiry has exposed the lies uttered by the industry and its willing supporters, it has shown the ‘gag’ clause which companies so callously used to silence people, and a clause which they had so often denied existed was in fact included in contracts. In exposing it Senators have been able to have companies, through their ‘mouth piece’ the Clean Energy Council, (submission 450ss), state publically people ARE able to speak out about failings and health effects of this industry.

    Well done Senators, even before the Inquiry concludes you have done more good than anyone else has been able to. The industry can no longer sit back and believe they are untouchable because once those who have been silenced realise they can now speak out even more of the truth will reach the publics ears.

    What is needed now is for some sections of the Media to become truly independent and to report the facts as they are and not as dictated by the industry and its supporters.

    Those in the Media and those who control it can no longer censor the truth, the evidence is out in public now and to try and manipulate it any longer will see them exposed as an unreliable factual news source.

  3. Reblogged this on Climatism.

  4. If the opposition and the (Greens) showed as much intrust in the
    law abiding citizens of this country as they do for illegal migrants there would not be a problem.

  5. Have got too say now, there is not a thing we can do to stop these horrible monsters from our doors. It’s frighting but what can you do, when so much money is involved. It’s like one company said you can buyany thing if you have the money.
    Not much we can say on that score. Money always talks. Not too sure what to think any more.

    But it’s certain that nobody cares, if they do they are just happy it’s not in their back yard.

    When you see what is happening now all over the world with these monsters, it seems the rest of the world now has seen the light.

    But not Australia it has not woken up to biggest scam ever. All I can say please God they open their eyes soon real soon.

  6. Reblogged this on the WeatherAction News Blog and commented:
    Breathtaking arrogance from the subsidy scroungers –

    At a recent Senate hearing, one wind farm manager attempted to table a cartoon that lampooned their claims and suggested senators colour it in.

    Others told us residents living near wind farms who wake in the middle of the night, with excruciating pressure in their heads, should receive counselling — suggesting they have a psychological problem, not a physiological one.

    Big Wind’s attitude derives from a sense of smug untouchability.

  7. The goat of greenhill road says:

    It’s official the last person to leave SA won’t have to turn out the lights, they will already be out.

    With the inevitable demise of the Leigh Creek coalfields and the Port Augusta power station due to wind farm subsides and falling energy demand, how do the boffins want to fill the void?
    More renewables of course. Solar thermal at four times the price of wind.

    One of the great selling points of Senvion’s CERES project was that it provided another power source into Adelaide rather than connecting onto the northern 275kva lines coming down from Port Augusta which were near capacity with nearby wind farms connecting on.

    From a purely selfish point of view the freeing up 500mw due to the power stations closure would allow other wind farms to join on reducing their connection cost unlike the ridiculous underwater HVDC cable connection of CERES.

    The ineptitude and lack of planning by the CERES proponents is laughed at amongst even those within the wind industry.

    When your ego is bigger than your IQ, they where always going to be in trouble.

  8. Terry Conn says:

    Steven Cooper has identified ‘wind turbine signature’ by using narrow band analysis. That is where the answer is. We don’t need any further obfuscation.

    Also, note Professor Carlile’s statement in The Australian on 12/6/2015 where he states infrasound/LFN effects the human nervous system and ‘that unless this is addressed there will be big problems’.

    All Senators need to hear what Professor Carlile has to say and postpone all further consideration of the new RET Bill until the matter is dealt with.

  9. Sick of Wind Industry Lies says:

    Bravo Senator Leyonhjelm!!! BRAVO!!!

    Thank goodness, at last, that there are politicians of principle who taking notice of those adversely affected by this fundamentally flawed technology. Now there truly is hope on the horizon, for justice for the victims of the acoustic pollution from the systemic corporate corruption and subsidy sucking leeches.

    The ‘smug untouchability’ (a ‘spot on’ description, eerily applicable also to paedophile rings) is going to be the undoing of this toxic industry and its elite Green eyed twittering purveyors of misinformation and indifference to human suffering.

    BRAVO SENATORS! Next step is to hold these bastard industries to account. A Royal Commission is essential to get to the bottom of this international Scam and stop these things.

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