“Wind farms make me sick!” (Australia)

Nov 14, 2012


“Fight over wind farms goes to Canberra”

—Nick Perry, News.com.au (11/13/12)

A splitting headache, vibrations and pressure behind the eyes kept Janet Hetherington awake in the wee hours of last Sunday as she tried to rest before her son’s wedding that afternoon.

She says she wasn’t suffering any common illness but the side effects of low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines near her Macarthur home in western Victoria.

“I don’t know what to do,” she wrote in an email at 4.30am (AEDT) on Sunday.

“I can’t live like this.”

Ms Hetherington was on Tuesday reduced to tears recalling the moment at a rally outside Parliament House in Canberra.

About 40 protesters, mostly from rural South Australia, NSW and Victoria, carried signs claiming wind farms made them ill or they were “wind refugees” forced to abandon their homes.

They want the federal government to support a Senate bill designed to curb excessive noise from wind farms.

The bill, introduced by independent senator Nick Xenophon and Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan, seeks to refuse a Renewable Energy Certificate to wind farms that exceed normal background noise by more than 10 decibels.

One of the bill’s architects, SA barrister Peter Quinn, said he’d received hundreds of emails like Ms Hetherington’s from rural residents concerned about the impact of wind farm noise on their health and their families.

“These things are gutting agricultural communities,” Mr Quinn told the rally, adding claims that wind farms boosted regional economies were a “fraud.”

“Nobody wants to live near these things,” he said.

He urged the protesters to “bombard and shame” their federal MPs into backing the bill.

Under the proposed legislation, the Clean Energy Regulator would be equipped with powers to ensure accredited wind farms don’t create excessive noise within 30 metres of people’s homes, workplaces or meeting spots.

It would also force companies to make information about noise, wind speed and direction and other data publicly available.

Claims that wind farms are causing sleep deprivation, stress and serious long-term health problems have been the subject of much debate and concern in some communities.

In 2010, the government’s National Health and Medical Research Council stated there was currently “insufficient published scientific evidence” to link wind turbines with adverse health effects.


  1. Comment by Colette McLean on 11/14/2012 at 4:54 pm

    Please help me document the number of incidents of health effects on our site, Ill Wind Reporting.

    We are now over 320 reports worldwide with sleep disturbances as the number one ill effect from wind turbines.


  2. Comment by Barbara Durkin on 11/14/2012 at 5:41 pm

    Politicians, regulators and the wind lobby that force wind turbines on the innocent and unsuspecting victims and their communities make me sick.

    Barbara Durkin

  3. Comment by Lyn Jarvis on 11/14/2012 at 9:33 pm

    The rally at Australia’s capital city highlighted the residents that have been affected by wind turbines and brought the fight to our nation’s leaders. The “excessive noise bill” will be a great start, but we need more politicians to start taking notice of innocent Australians who have had their rights to a peaceful life taken away.

    Shame on you hosts who have made that choice for us! Shame!


  4. Comment by Marie Burton on 11/15/2012 at 12:13 am

    Surely the report of the study by Mr. Steve Cooper, a leading acoustician, should make people realise that there is a problem with noise from wind turbines. Most peer-reviewed evidence from overseas tends to be ignored, yet leading authorities have done the work in regards to infrasound and low frequency noise (e.g., Prof. Dr. M. Swinbanks, UK and USA). The submission to Ontario Moritorium; Keele University, Scotland, on Eskdalemuir; Aalborg University Acoustics Dept. are a drop in the bucket compared to many articles. Even wind-works.org reported on deaths from turbines.

    How many people worldwide and Australia report on adverse issues with wind turbines before someone takes notice and does something about it? Even the NHMRC’s Prof. W. Anderson stated before the Senate “we do not consider that there are no ill effects from exposure to operating wind turbines.”

    Someone needs to do independent research to prove one way or the other that industrial wind turbines are a problem.

    Editor’s note: Dr. Pierpont did “independent research proving that industrial wind turbines are a problem.” So have numerous noise engineers, so have Dr. Sarah Laurie and Dr. Amanda Harry and Dr. Michael Nissenbaum and Dr. Christopher Hanning, and so have Prof. Alec Salt (neuro-physiologist at the Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA).

  5. Comment by Johannes Karl Marciniak on 11/15/2012 at 9:08 pm


  6. Comment by Wanda on 11/27/2012 at 7:52 am

    I still life in Waterloo SA and my husbands my health is dedirating very day. my ear ache has turned into an inffection. this ear ache I have had for 2 years now, can’t get a decent night sleep due to noise and virbrations. Today was another day
    where I nearly fell a sleep at the wheel yet again, Iam scared
    to drive but I have to get away from home or I go mad.
    I get abuse from my neiboure who is all for the wind farm and says they don’t effect her in the last few month she has been
    losing it by yelling and screaming at people here in town and in shops for no reason, she walks up to you and just starts to abuse you,it got so bad that we had to phone the police and she keeps telling us they don’t effect her. Well we never had a problem with her before the turbines started.
    We are find more and more people who are all for the wind farm in waterloo becomming more and more angry and get mood swings one day there nice and the next day we get abused, but there is no problem, why don’t they just do a study on the people that live near trubines, it’s that simple.

    regards WTS refugee Wanda

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