DOCTOR'S LETTER FEATURES IN SENATE INQUIRY
March 12 2011
By Brendan Gullifer,
A letter from Ballarat GP Scott Taylor to Waubra wind farm operator Acciona has been submitted to the Senate inquiry into wind farms.
In what is believed to be the first public statement by a local health professional on the issue, Dr Taylor says there is a “strong correlation” between symptoms of three of his patients and the operation of turbines at Waubra.
Dr Taylor outlines symptoms suffered by former Waubra residents husband and wife Carl and Sam Stepnell.
“In the last six months the Stepnells have had increasing problems including increased feeling of pressure in their head and ears, a feeling of uneasiness and frequent waking at night,” Dr Taylor wrote in September, 2010.
Dr Taylor, who works at Ballarat Group Practice in Victoria St, said the Stepnells’ symptoms “significantly improved” when turbines were not in operation for two weeks, but worsened again when the turbines came back on line. He said the Stepnells noticed they had “significantly less problems” when away from the turbines on holidays, and had no previous history of symptoms presented.
“I also confirm that I have one other patient who lives at Waubra on a 10 acre farm who is distraught with exactly the same symptoms as the Stepnells,” Dr Taylor wrote.
“I believe from the circumstantial evidence that there is a strong correlation between their symptoms and the operation of the turbines nearby.”
While a number of local doctors have been treating Waubra residents, this is believed to be the first public confirmation by any local GPs of concern over the link between wind turbines and health.
The letter was submitted by the Stepnells as part of their submission to the Senate inquiry. The Stepnells moved from Waubra last year, saying their home was uninhabitable due to turbine noise.
A spokesman for Acciona said: “It is not appropriate for Acciona to share the details of sensitive personal correspondence, nor will we comment on submissions to the Senate Inquiry which is currently underway. However we can say that we have received no medical or scientific advice with any evidence that positively links the operation of wind turbines to adverse health effects.”