NSW health minister's "kooky" remarks about wind farms | RenewEconomy

NSW health minister’s “kooky” remarks about wind farms

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“Wind turbines’ blades created pressure waves that “resonate in the skulls” of people living as far away as five kilometres.’”

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Wind turbines’ blades created pressure waves that “resonate in the skulls” of people living as far away as five kilometres.’ – Pru Goward, NSW Minister for Medical Research and Assistant Minister for Health, 19/10/2015

These words are totally kooky.

NSW has a great opportunity to become one of Australia’s leading states for wind farms but when a government minister with ‘health’ in her title is trying to scare people about wind farms, the Premier needs to step in.

These are not the views of her own department, NSW Health or of the nation’s pre-eminent health research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council who found there was no consistent evidence that wind farms impact people’s health.

Nor are they the views of the Baird government. In fact, they’d have been more at home in the government of anti-wind ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

It’s critical that Premier Mike Baird distances himself from this attack on wind farms. He needs to hear his own constituents tell him that wind-bashing like this is just not on.

Email Mike Baird and tell him to reject this nonsense

The potential for wind energy to drive jobs and investment in NSW is massive. Right now NSW has 7,000 megawatts of wind farm projects in the NSW planning system, with development approval, or under construction. This equates to around $11 billion of potential investment and over 2,500 full-time jobs in construction and operation.

It’s a deep irony that Minister Goward’s own electorate of Goulburn is one of the places that stands to benefit most from new wind farm development.

It’s also a good chance for Premier Baird to finally legislate wind farm planning guidelines to promote new wind development that have been languishing in draft form for nearly four years.

While anti-wind politicians like Pru Goward are busy taking pot shots at wind farms, New South Wales’s reputation as a state to build wind farms falls behind that of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Last week, in the Upper House of parliament the government supported a motion reiterating the NHMRC’s findings that wind farms are safe and that “this House reiterates its support for the wind energy sector in New South Wales”. This is a good first step but we need to hear it from the Premier himself.

Andrew Bray is the co-ordinator for The Australian Wind Alliance. He is encouraging people to Email Mike Baird and ask him to make clear that NSW supports wind energy.

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  1. Grant Winberg 5 years ago

    Pru Goward is the member for Goulburn which electorate includes a large part of the Southern Tablelands. Katrina Hodgkinson’s previous electoral boundaries included a large part of the Southern Tablelands. Angus Taylor is the federal member for Hume which electorate includes a large part of the Southern Tablelands. The late Albie Schultz was the member before Taylor. These four people represent(ed) the people of a large part of the Southern Tablelands. This large part of the Southern Tablelands is planned to host thousands of wind turbines. All four political representatives have been very outspoken about the negative impact of turbines on their constituents. This is as it should be. There has been too much character assassination of such people. Pru Goward has been courageous in being outspoken. Premier Baird should listen very carefully to her.

    • Alex 5 years ago

      She’s spouting BS. Why should we listen to someone who is clearly not understanding basic facts?

    • Peter Campbell 5 years ago

      Nothing courageous about pandering to unfounded fears.

    • disqus_3PLIicDhUu 5 years ago

      She is character assassinating herself.
      It’s not unreasonable to find wind turbines visually unappealing, but it is unreasonable to hide this and defer to pseudo-science.

    • Coley 5 years ago

      By all means represent your constituents but not by propagating lies, unless, that is, the empty spaces found between a lot of politicians lugs is especially sensitive to “resonance” if so, she has me sympathy.

  2. Fizz 5 years ago

    Brought to you by the same government selling the Newcastle rail corridor

  3. Ciriindir 5 years ago

    To be very clear before I state this – I’m pro-alternative energy including wind farms.

    But! I’ve experienced living next to a facility that produces noise for most hours of the waking day and beyond, which had my family and me wearing earplugs while also playing white noise for hours at a time in an attempt to block it out, yet still being able to feel/hear it. Despite the incredible stress and upset that this caused us, it was not considered bothersome by the EPA even though they didn’t have an adequate category to for it.

    I would never have believed the impact certain sound waves could have on physical and mental health if I hadn’t experienced it myself and witnessed it in those I live with. Because of this, I am not so quick to dismiss the claims of the people who live near the turbines.

    • Sean 5 years ago

      You are either a particularly nasty troll, or delusional.

      You are trying to convince us that infrasound affects you so badly that it affects mental health,

      yet millions of people live within 5km of the coast, and somehow manage to deal with all the infrasound generated by the ocean.

      Should we have the government ban all residences within 5km of the ocean?

      • Ciriindir 5 years ago

        What I’m saying is that I’m not willing to dismiss claims outright based on my personal experience and despite supporting clean energy.

    • onesecond 5 years ago

      Although I live in Germany and see plenty of windmills, I had actually never heard them until one day I decided to go directly under the windmill to hear these alleged noises I keep reading on the internet. All I heard was the faint noise of wind on a windy day. I would not have any problem MOVING directly under a windmill because these alleged noises are so low. If there is a road anywhere near you won’t hear it at all, so you must be lying or having psychological problems or your windmill is totally kaputt.

      • Ciriindir 5 years ago

        As I said, based on my experience I’m not willing to dismiss claims outright. It’s a shame that these claims have been used as the excuse by an outstandingly pathetic government (and the same govt with a more savvy, popular leader) as a way to fight clean energy. For me, I can’t know if there is basis to either side specifically regarding long term effects of the sound waves – again, based on my experience.

        • Ciriindir 5 years ago

          The only thing that stopped us selling our home was a new gym manager who actually sat with us during a session and made changes as a result. EPA didn’t even come into our home to measure. We couldn’t hear it much outside our home, hence didn’t even notice when we bought the place.

    • nakedChimp 5 years ago

      I’ve experienced living next to a facility that produces noise for most hours of the waking day and beyond

      What kind of facility are you talking about?

      • Ciriindir 5 years ago

        A gym in a building that isn’t adequately insulated for multiple classes using high intensity music.

        • Pedro 5 years ago

          That’s a great idea. Locate gyms next to windfarms to drown out the sound.

  4. Shane 5 years ago

    SA showed last night why to many windfarms will never work as the interconnector tripped AGAIN..
    At what point do the rusted on wind religious die hards say , hang on maybe these things are a bit to tough to live to near.

    • Giles 5 years ago

      The tripping of the inter-connector had nothing to do with wind energy. There was a lot of wind blowing at the time, and a lot of coal and gas available. a total of 3000MW.

    • nakedChimp 5 years ago

      Local grid storage and home ESS would have helped in this situation too, you know?

    • Ron Moran 5 years ago

      Whilst SA had Plenty of Base Line Capacity Available the restoration of Supply after A inter-connecter trip is not as simple as Flicking A switch no matter What Type of Generation is available

  5. Shane 5 years ago

    Depends how you choose to look at it giles, if sa hadn’t pumped billions of dollars into wind and redirected it into having a reliable grid using base load power sources, no blackouts. Mr zema wouldn’t be your favorite person right now l suspect, .

    • Giles 5 years ago

      Do you have any idea what you are talking about? All state grids have links to other state grids, and import and export when needed. The inter-connector went down, it’s got bugger all to do with the amount and mix of the generation in the state.

      • Shane 5 years ago

        Being a sparky for my younger years my understanding of lv is good enough, hv , well they can have that .. especially in sa with industrial wind sires around they wouldn’t know if there was power on the line or not… (joke)
        Question being why have they been upgrading the interconnector from vic if not to deal with sa fluctuating energy needs..
        Good day to flog a dying horse gil..

      • Fizz 5 years ago


    • nakedChimp 5 years ago

      I bet the guys and gals who have an ESS at home didn’t even notice the blackout.. might be time to get you one as well?

      • Shane 5 years ago

        Ever been told never to assume anything? My question would be do you?

        • nakedChimp 5 years ago

          As a scientist one has to make assumptions and then one does experiments to test those assumptions.
          Don’t know how that works for other people who just learn ‘rules’ and live with&by them.. not my cup of tea.

          So you question my assumption that a lot of home ESS and local grid ESS could have helped in this situation?
          Well, then you should start a lot of reading and brace for this kind of thing to be rolled out world-wide, as humanity is bent on testing this.
          You can start by reading the latest Electrical Energy Storage Magazine http://ees-magazine.com/

          • Shane 5 years ago

            Sorry you miss understand. . What l was implying is that l have 10kw of solar with a small bank of batts, l was asking do you? Im an electrician and have installed a few other systems to date , yes the gov should be incentifiying every house in oz to do so and only using the grid to trickle feed when solar isnt doing enough that coupled with increasing efficiency of appliances is plain commonsense.
            But windfarms are not on so many levels.

          • nakedChimp 5 years ago

            Oh.. hehe.
            Yeah, I’m fortunate enough to have the space.
            So far we got 10.5kW of solar panels installed with hybrid inverters. The carport adjacent to the garage/workshop has been planned by me to be able to hold another 6kW of panels.

            Then there was the refurbishment of the power pole + meter box which held us back a bit as we couldn’t afford the $4.5k for a new one (and witnessing the screw ups for similar works at the neighbors by professionals encouraged me any way).
            Next thing should be 10kWh of LFP batteries.. I just don’t see me getting this done before this cyclone season ends as the sewage tank needs attention first.
            If there is a blackout when the sun shines we can run the fridge though 🙂

            So yeah, stuff is progressing, but at a slow pace as we do it ourselves to save some money and to get what we want.

          • Shane 5 years ago

            With 10.5 already forget the extra 6 and save for batts and there shant be any need to upgrade the pole and meter. The last place we did run only 6kw of panels, 20sqm house, three kids, (off grid) and the batts have yet to drop below 75%.

          • nakedChimp 5 years ago

            Na, the 6kW is for the _car_port – don’t want to redo that building in 3-4 years when we get our first EV 😉
            You always have to plan ahead a bit with limited resources and manpower – can’t waste a lot of it.

          • Chris Fraser 5 years ago

            Use a grid to trickle feed home storage ? That’s a bona fide brainstorm. No one from a centralised generator would be trying to influence your comments here.

    • Ronald Brakels 5 years ago

      Shane, importing Victorian electricity is cheaper than generating electricity in South Australia from either coal or natural gas. So without wind, South Australia would probably be even more vulnerable to an interconnector failure.

  6. Ron Barnes 5 years ago

    He is an Ignorant Idiot to believe this.

  7. onesecond 5 years ago

    This health minister obviously has some mental health issues.

  8. George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

    Kooky? I think the article writer has significant limitations to his understanding of basic phenomena in science…

  9. George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

    Interesting to also see the “wind hordes” and all their attacks on Prue Goward

Comments are closed.

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