Wind farm sickness: Ballarat doctor calls for study

By Brendan Gullifer
Updated November 2 2012 - 6:20am, first published August 19 2011 - 1:28am
Dr Wayne Spring

A BALLARAT doctor yesterday joined the wind turbine debate, comparing the alleged link between health problems associated with turbines to cigarette smoking’s connection to cancer back in the 1950s.Sleep physician Dr Wayne Spring said he had been treating patients from Waubra and Leonards Hill and he supported a senate inquiry call for a formal health study.“Research needs to be done into the whole concept of wind farms,” Dr Spring said yesterday. “It’s like cigarettes in the 50s; people didn’t believe they caused lung cancer and now we’ve got people living near turbines coming in early with all sorts of conditions. We’ve got to acknowledge the facts. “Some of these people are called hysterics or it’s psychosomatic or they’re labelled as jumping on the bandwagon. People in industry and government dismiss these people but this is an important issue.”Dr Spring’s comments follow those this week of Daylesford doctor Andja Mitric-Andjic.Dr Mitric-Andjic said she had been treating Leonards Hill residents for problems associated with sleep disturbance since turbines began operating in the area earlier this year.Hepburn Wind chairman Simon Holmes a Court said much of the anxiety from residents living near turbines was created by “misinformation spread by anti-wind activists”.But Dr Spring said the problem was anecdotal evidence was not regarded as scientific.“We do not have evidence,” he said. “I can’t be dogmatic but we do not have evidence to refute there is a problem.“Patients present with a complex array of symptoms. You hear it once, then a second person comes along with something similar. By the third or fourth person, you’re starting to think there’s something here.“Bad sleep is bad for you, regardless of whether it’s caused by noise or anxiety about a situation.”