Rural Communities Revolt: Opposition to Wind Power Grows as WHO Deems Wind Turbine Noise Serious Health Risk

When it comes to the threat of litigation from their victims, the wind industry has never been more nervous.

In Victoria, a group of 10 plaintiffs have launched Supreme Court action against the South Gippsland Council and the owner of the Bald Hills wind farm, seeking $millions in damages for the nuisance caused by 52, 2 MW Senvion MM92s: Victorian Vengeance: Neighbours Launch $Multi-Million Noise Nuisance Law Suit Against Wind Farm Operator & Local Council

STT hears that yet another group of plaintiffs is about to launch legal action against a wind farm operator in Victoria, very soon; and that the damages claimed will also be in the multiple $millions.

Adding to the wind industry’s woes is the latest World Health Organization Environmental Noise Guidelines for Europe which, for the first time, has identified exposure to wind turbine noise as “More than a nuisance” it’s “a health risk – contributing to cardiovascular diseases, for example”: Wind Industry Panics as Class Actions Loom: WHO Finds Wind Turbine Noise Harmful to Health

The WHO’s belated recognition of the harm caused by incessant, wind turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound follows the finding by Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal, headed up by a Federal Court Judge, that exposure to wind turbine noise is a pathway to disease: Australian Court Finds Wind Turbine Noise Exposure a ‘Pathway to Disease’: Waubra Foundation Vindicated

The tables have turned, and the wind industry clearly knows it. This time it’s French wind power outfits, Neoen that’s the target of incensed locals, over its plans to destroy their neighbourhood in the picturesque Southern Flinders Ranges.

Windfarm Fight
Today Tonight Adelaide
Elise Baker
15 October 2018

Transcript

Rosanna Mangiarella: We begin tonight with yet another wind farm war in the state’s mid north. Residents are taking on an international energy giant which has set its sights on their town. Locals don’t want the noise, they don’t want their landscape spoiled, and they certainly don’t want to have to deal with the health risks. And they’ve told Elise Baker they’ll do whatever it takes to stop the development.

Resident: What’s proposed is bigger than anything being seen in Australia to date.

Ian Peterson: And I’m concerned about the impacts of both the audible noise and the inaudible noise on me, my family, and the community.

Gerry Nicholson: As we go into the future, that my children and grandchildren are not going to be able to see a range of hills or mountains or an iconic area like the Flinders Ranges without there being wind towers looming up into the sky and taking away the natural beauty of the area.

Elise Baker: It’s the small South Aussie town taking on a big French energy giant.

Gerry Nicholson: Take your wind turbines and go and put them around the Eiffel Tower and see how they would go over there. They’re not here because they want to save the world, they’re here to make money.

Elise Baker: Gerry Nicholson moved to Crystal Brook, 200 k’s north of Adelaide, more than 30 years ago to bring up his family in a quiet space with sweeping views of the rural landscape. He fears all that could be destroyed if Neoen has its way.

Gerry Nicholson: You would certainly see them from here and you would certainly see them quite clearly from down on Talbots Road where all those new houses are down there. In my view, Neoen have brushed over everything and all the concerns that the residents have raised.

Elise Baker: Neoen wants to build a combined wind, solar, and battery storage energy park that will generate enough renewable electricity to power a 145,000 homes a year. They have already halved the size of the project in response to feedback from the local community.

Neoen Rep: But still achieving the two main goals of the project, the first one being to supply 24-hour, around the clock power to South Australians at two thirds of the price of existing generators, and the second one is just simply keeping the lights on in the state.

Elise Baker: It will feature 26 wind turbines and they’ll certainly stand out. The state’s tallest structure is The Stack in nearby Port Pirie which stands at 205 metres tall, more than 70 metres taller than Adelaide’s tallest building Westpac House. These turbines will tower over both of them at 240 metres. Some homes will be just 1.3 kilometres away from them. Ian Peterson’s property, just 3 k’s from the nearest turbine.

Resident: Who would want to buy a property that has a vista of 240 metre high turbines?

Elise Baker: The State Commission Assessment Panel held a meeting in Port Pirie to hear some of these worries. Sound engineer Steven Cooper, an expert in wind turbine noise, was there to air his concerns.

Steven Cooper: I believe it’s too close to residents and I believe that it will impact on people, and for some people they will have to abandon their houses based on what’s happened at other wind turbines. There is a raise of experiences of people or reactions that they have to this wind turbine noise, and it’s there all the time so it builds up over time a bit like an allergy.

Elise Baker: But Neoen couldn’t give us a guarantee the project won’t harm local residents. Can Neoen guarantee that these wind turbines won’t have a negative effect on people’s health?

Neoen Rep: To be very honest with you, I wouldn’t be doing this job if I felt that there are negative health impacts from this.

Elise Baker: But you can’t give me a guarantee?

Neoen Rep: Well, I’ve been doing this for 18 years. In my experience, I wouldn’t be doing this job if I felt that there were negative health impacts from wind turbines or solar panels.

Elise Baker: Mr. Cooper says there needs to be more research.

Steven Cooper: There are many examples where research has come out later of various materials, substances, environmental issues that hindsight says, “If we had known we wouldn’t have done it.”

Gerry Nicholson:  And until we can prove there are no health risks conclusively, why would anybody take that chance?
Today Tonight

Well, Gerry the WHO’s latest noise guidelines for Europe – available here – and the Australian AAT’s decision in Waubra Foundation v ACNC – available here – provide conclusive proof that exposure to wind turbine noise brings with it a raft of health problems, starting with long-term sleep deprivation. None of this is a mystery; the wind industry has known about it from the beginning.

And that will be its greatest downfall, simply because – like the tobacco and asbestos industries before it – the wind industry can never claim that it didn’t know.

Let the reckoning begin.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Noel Dean says:

    Why did Steve Cooper not measure the audible sound at Cape Bridgewater? It was said at the Bridgewater meeting when Steve Cooper spoke at, by the developer that Mr Cooper agreed that the wind farm was compliant. How stupid was this left unchallenged by Steve Cooper. Any body experiencing noise at Crispin and Sonia’s house, like myself could only declare non compliance. Surely Mr Cooper would have used the International standard LAeq and not the L95 which is only assesses the quietest 5per cent of the measured period. The measurement of the audible sound in a proper manner is sufficient to confirm non compliance with the permit because SACs were present, because you could hear the swooshing of the blades.

    Get the audible sound sorted out then do the rest later, instead of messing around. The pulsing of high frequency sound is present in the wind turbine noise that is heard. Record it in real time for goodness sake. People are complaining about the noise heard not that which is filtered.

    Noel Dean

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    No doubt the Neoen Rep is OK because he doesn’t have to live with these Devils thrashing sticks.
    Those who speak out the strongest for this form of energy production are in the main those who will never have to live with them – that is until the seas rise and the land dries, only then will they say OOPs – should have listened but how can we now get around having to admit it.
    Here in SA, we have an energy Minister who could put a stop to more Turbines being installed and our beautiful vistas from being spoiled, but is he a member of the dark side, has he gained his position by deception.
    He and others who could stop the nightmare are fixated with working with the Devils to slam more turbines into the earth to reach ever closer to the heavens and laughing as they do it.
    Of course they are not alone, around the country and world there are people like this, people so blinded by deception and profit they are willing to work with devils in sheep’s clothing.

    • registered nurse says:

      The Neoen rep is ‘OK’ be cause he is being paid a shipload of money for his falsehoods. If the Ministers go along with it they will be supporting the self-evident lies. Even the WHO now recognises there ARE health issues!

      Bring on the class action!

  3. Crystal Brook Gateway to the Flinders Ranges of SA says:

    “Can Neoen guarantee that these wind turbines won’t have a negative effect on people’s health?

    Neoen Rep: To be very honest with you, I wouldn’t be doing this job if I felt that there are negative health impacts from this.”

    The WHO statement that there are indeed negative health impacts from excessive wind turbine noise was published a day prior to the Neoen Reps interview above. Indeed it was acknowledged in the Crystal Brook planning panel meeting this Rep was attending on the day of this interview.

    Yet his Neoen Rep has chosen to be wilfully blind to the peak public health organisation of the world and its Environmental Noise Guidelines.

    The immediate question now is whether the South Australian Minister responsible for deciding the health and well-being future of Crystal Brook residents and nearby communities prefers the advice and integrity of the World Health Organisation over the repetitious hollow and misleading representations of a French multinational and its mercenaries.

    Or is the Liberal party just as corrupted as Labor?

    • Neon Rep; “to be very honest with you…”.

      This seems to be a line the Neon rep has been practicing for the last 18 years, as ‘speaking the truth’ is not an obvious characteristic of this company or its staff.

      Let us hope the Minister has the courage to see through this deception, and deny this foreign company the opportunity to access obscene profits whilst knowingly trashing decent rural Australian’s homes and health.

    • Ripped off says:

      Worse than Labor!
      At least SA Labor Ministers responded to correspondence in a timely manner.
      SA Labor didn’t promise a moratorium or changes to siting and noise regulation and then “forget about their policy” when elected to government.

      SHAME on this SA Liberal government – misleading and abandoning their rural constituents.

      • F the French Neoen says:

        Connie Bonaros is the only politician in SA to speak directly and honestly on this issue. See her twitter feed for a remarkable speech to Parliament last week calling for an immediate Wind Moratorium.

        With people like Connie in parliament there is a glimmer of hope to end the abuse of companies like Neoen and their ilk.

      • Full post on Connie’s speech coming up soon.

  4. Son of a goat says:

    Ah, it’s clear in my mind, this is a job for the “Renewable Energy Messiah.”
    Alas his hands might be full.
    Why he’s been patting himself on the bald spot from his self perceived part in helping Wentworth fall to an independent.
    Just lately he’s been getting a bit twitchy that Angus Taylor may funnel a bit of cash into a coal generator. Having bet his reputation and his wine cellar this won’t happen the Messiah’s empire is on the line, a bit like the old mans after the 87 stock market crash. Heady days indeed!

    However I’m a little perplexed as to what is the greatest paradox; The Messiah getting accepted on the so called Smart Energy Council or him reaching out to the church to help get the kids off Nauru?

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