Research to re-dress wind farm health impacts

The Abbott Government has commissioned fresh research into the effects of wind farms on public health.

Australia’s peak public body for health and medical research, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), has again been given responsibility for overseeing the research, which is in response to community concerns about the long-term health effects, if any, of living close to wind farms.

In 2010, NHRMC released a public statement that concluded there was “insufficient published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects” and encouraged authorities to take a precautionary approach.

Documents recently obtained by The Australian have shown Victorian Health Minister David Davis wrote to Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton less than two weeks after last year’s federal election to offer $100,000 for further research into the health effects of wind turbines.

“I receive regular correspondence from Victorians living in the vicinity of wind farms who report adverse health effects,” Mr Davis wrote, as reported by The Australian.

“Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research available to enhance the community’s understanding of this matter and inform appropriate government actions and policy development. I consider that a national approach to research is needed.”

The federal funding model for the research is yet to be finalised, as the government seeks to consult with private stakeholders and other state health ministers.

Tony Abbott’s business advisor Maurice Newman is a vocal critic of wind farms, which he claims are, “a danger to human health”.