A Senate inquiry into wind farms has slammed the nation’s scientists and doctors for their “arrogant” view that wind energy is not harmful.
The committee’s report released on Monday evening said the health side effects of wind farm “infrasound” deserve to be taken seriously.
Australia’s leading scientific research body, the NHMRC, previously found no evidence of so-called ‘wind turbine syndrome’.
The report accused the NHMRC of shoddy research and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) of “slavish” and “harmful” repetition of its findings.
“The NHMRC and the AMA have in taking advice from the industry and in some instances that of non-medical academics have placed more people in danger of suffering adverse health effects,” the report found.
Committee members heard from residents living near wind turbines who complained of a variety of health effects including tinnitus, raised blood pressure, heart palpitations, tachycardia, stress, anxiety, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and fatigue.
The majority report recommended, in part, the creation of a new independent committee to investigate possible health side effects; new limits on acoustic noise; bans on wind farms that exceed noise levels; and more research into the effect of wind power on electricity prices.
Labor party members of the committee produced a minority report contradicting its findings.
According to Fairfax Media, the report comes at a momentous time for the Australian wind farm industry, which has seen investment drop dramatically over the past 18 months thanks to a lack of government support.
Labor committee member Anne Urquhart said most of the recommendations were reckless, ridiculous and irresponsible and would lead to the death of all renewable energy investment in Australia.