Opponents demand government pays to test windfarms' impact on health

GOVERNMENTS should pay for extra research into the effects of wind farms on human health while they continue to subsidise wind energy, according to wind farm opponent Patina Schneider.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) called for further research into wind farms and found there was “no reliable or consistent evidence that wind farms directly cause adverse health effects in humans”, in a draft report released last month.

Mrs Schnieder lives four kilometres from the proposed site of a 43-turbine wind farm at Flyers Creek, 20 kilometres south of Orange.

She believes the NHMRC vindicates the position of the anti-wind farm groups who maintain residents living close to wind farms suffer serious adverse health effects and says the claims are backed by more recent studies not looked at by the research council.

“There is research now ... that shows the correlation between noise and what’s going on with these people,” Mrs Schnieder said.

“What we need is multidisciplinary studies, but it’s expensive and someone has to fund it.”

Mrs Schneider said “proper research” needed to be done by independent experts without bias or by people on both sides of the debate working together.

She said it should be up to governments to pay for the research.

“If the governments are going to put poor planning policies in place ... they should be paying for the research,” she said.

“Why we should we have to be paying to protect ourselves from inappropriate development?”

The NHMRC has opened the draft report up for the community to comment and submit any additional evidence for consideration in the final report due later this year.

The Department of Planning recommended the approval of the Flyers Creek wind farm last November, but the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) is yet to make a final decision.

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