Top Sleep Specialist Slams ‘Nocebo’ Nonsense: Wind Turbine Noise Obvious Cause of Sleep Deprivation

Dr Wayne Spring is a sleep specialist with a lifetime’s experience of dealing with those suffering from sleep deprivation from all manner of causes. Recently, Dr Spring went into print, slamming those from the wind-cult who spend their time deriding the wind industry’s victims, rather than listening.

One of its victims, who will never be silenced, is STT Champion, Annie Gardner who let rip in the Hamilton Spectator with this thumping letter to the editor, picking up Dr Spring’s sharpest points along the way.

Hamilton Spectator
29 April 2017

IT’S most important that Dr Wayne Spring’s willingness to expose his experience of treating many wind farm victims, referred to him for sleep deprivation, is released to the people in your readership area, particularly as so many will become exposed to the same problems particularly around Macarthur and Oaklands Hill. Below are excerpts from Dr Wayne Springs study:

Wind turbine health impacts can be like seasickness, according to a recently retired consultant physician. 

Dr. Wayne Spring said, much like seasickness, wind turbines may not affect everyone exposed, but those affected could suffer disabling symptoms including nausea, vertigo, sleep disturbance and a sense of feeling unwell. 

Dr. Spring was a Consultant Physician in regional Victoria for 33 years, including 20 years as a Ballarat-based sleep specialist, and cared for patients who lived near wind turbines. 

“I’ve spent my whole life as a physician interviewing patients, assessing their symptoms and looking at their individual circumstances.  I object when people are vilified because they have a range of symptoms that they claim are related to wind turbines” Dr. Spring said. 

He said while people with seasickness were generally sympathised with, people without any medical qualifications were quick to malign and criticise people who suffered symptoms possibly from wind turbine activity. 

Dr. Spring said as a sleep specialist he only saw patients who were referred to him by their GP’s and therefore the actual number of patients who were suffering from wind turbine health impacts was probably far greater. 

“Some affected people go to other locations to sleep in an effort to cope and some people have just sold up and moved away”, he said. 

“It has always struck me how stoical country patients are and, of this stoical population, the most stoical are farmers and this group makes up a large part of the complainants”. 

“Another confounding factor is that farmers with wind turbines on their farms are bound by confidentiality agreements so that complaints cannot be made.”

The situation outlined above is exactly what is happening to many neighbours living in close proximity to AGL’s Macarthur Wind Farm, and some families out to 10 kilometres from turbines.

Ongoing sleep deprivation is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a disease which can lead to many other serious illnesses.

Many families suffer seriously from ongoing sleep deprivation as a result of the acoustic emissions from the 140 turbines at AGL’s Macarthur Wind Farm, whether  it be background noise, infrasound or low frequency noise, or a combination of all.

These acoustic emissions, in addition to ground borne vibration are a very dangerous cocktail, such as so many families had never experienced prior to October 2012, when the first turbines began operating.

AGL continues to deny our ongoing serious symptoms are as a result of their turbines and have for four years now, recommended we merely visit our doctor.

We sincerely appreciate Dr. Wayne Spring’s decision to expose his findings over many years treating patients suffering sleep deprivation as a result of proximity to wind turbines.  This is the first time Australia-wide and possibly in the world, that a physician of any sort has been willing to publicly expose the truth.

So far the toll on families’ health living near the Macarthur wind farm, has been huge.  One family with young children left their job, their home and the district in early 2013 as their two young babies who had previously slept through the night, screamed all night as a result of the acoustic emissions from the turbines so close to their home. Their behavior during the day became erratic also.

An adjoining neighbour to the Macarthur wind farm was tragically killed in a horror car smash last July.  This person, for fear of falling asleep whilst driving to and from work daily, had been forced to move to Hamilton due to extreme sleep deprivation in their home next to the wind farm.  Unfortunately due to inability to pay rent and the farm mortgage, this neighbour was forced to move back to the farm, but put on stronger sleeping tablets in an attempt to fight ongoing sleep disturbance.  Severe sleep deprivation could possibly have prevented this driver from taking evasive action in the fatal accident.

Another farming family living in close proximity to the turbines was forced to buy a house in Hamilton in order to get sleep at night. They travel 40 kilometres into Hamilton each night and another 40 kilometres out to the farm every morning.

Two families have been forced to sell up and leave their farms due to their serious inability to sleep at home.  Other families leave their home and farming property every week for a few days and nights just to get at least two nights decent sleep.  This comes at huge personal cost, accommodation and travel each week, and also the cost of not being able to work their farm full time, nor look after their animals.

For six nights from Sunday 2nd April till Friday 7th April all of the 140 turbines at the Macarthur Wind Farm did not operate, due to maintenance at the switchyard.

Residents were able to sleep in a manner such as they enjoyed for years prior to October 2012, when AGL’s turbines began operation, far too close to homes.  We slept without any pain, no headaches, no head pressure, no excruciating ear pain, no dizziness, no nausea and no vibration.  We were also able to work as normal in our paddocks in a pain free environment, without any severe noise pollution which is most distracting and dangerous, particularly when riding motor bikes and operating farm machinery.

Our request to AGL to carry out full spectrum noise testing has been ongoing for two years, but this company refuses to co-operate, in order to find out what really is the problem at their wind farm, which has taken away our Common Law right to sleep in our own homes at night.

Another western Victorian newspaper recently in an editorial claimed “When someone of Dr. Wayne Spring’s standing says that people who live near windfarms are suffering health problems caused by the turbines, one can only conclude he knows what he is talking about”.

This newspaper’s editorial claimed further “The situation demands a full inquiry, either State or Federal, to determine once and for all the effects of this technology on people who live close to these turbines.  After Wayne Spring’s contribution to the windfarm debate, we can no longer dispute the evidence that living too close to these facilities can be harmful”.

Too many families in this district are being hammered by infrasound and or low frequency noise and vibration from AGL’s turbines, whether it be Oaklands Hill wind farm at Glenthompson, or Macarthur.

With the number of new turbines proposed in south-west Victoria this carnage will escalate dramatically as turbines become bigger, resulting in greater dangerous acoustic emissions.

This is a very serious public health issue, which is being ignored by government and authorities at all levels, whilst large companies such as AGL and others, demonstrate reckless disregard for people’s health and wellbeing, continuing to benefit handsomely from a form of heavily taxpayer subsidized power generation, which cannot supply base load power, that is, power on demand.

PENSHURST, Victoria 

Annie Gardner: an AGL victim who will not be silenced.