There is no credible evidence that living near turbines is bad for people’s physical well-being according to a leading alliance of health and welfare groups and they have called on state governments to explain the rationale for restrictive new planning laws for wind farms.
A statement by the Climate and Health Alliance, a coalition of 20 groups, including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Psychological Society, challenges the Victorian and New South Wales governments to justify new regulations that give households power to block turbines within two kilometres of homes.
It has claimed that wind turbines are causing heart problems, migraines, chronic sleep disturbance and loss of balance.
Alliance convener Fiona Armstrong said no credible evidence had been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature linking turbines and pathological health problems.
”It is not clear why these planning decisions have been taken and we would urge governments to look at what the scientific literature says and not be influenced by vested interests,” she said.
Introduced in August, the new Victorian wind farms laws also ban turbines in tourist sites such as the Great Ocean Road.
He denied they were prompted by health concerns, saying he had not seen definitive evidence on whether there was a link.
The government yesterday did not directly answer questions on the setback distance and which overseas planning regimes the Victorian scheme were modelled on.
A spokesman said the previous Labor government trampled on people’s rights, giving them ”no say in the erection of wind farms which not only threatened the sanctity of their home, but had the capacity to threaten forever the look and amenity of entire communities”.
In NSW, government documents released to environment group Friends of the Earth under freedom-of-information laws showed health officials had dismissed the most commonly cited evidence that turbines cause health problems, US paediatrician Nina Pierpont’s book Wind Turbine Syndrome, as lacking epidemiological rigour.