The West Australian published an article last Saturday about our project on the cover of the Agenda section (if you missed it, read a scan here).
The article was well-written, and the journalist Kate Emery sought comment from key players. Dean Nalder, Minister for Transport and responsible for the Fremantle Port Authority, had this to say:
“The major areas of concern were the potential community health and amenity risks…”
Concerned about such erroneous, and potential misleading comments from the Minister, we would like to point out a few things. Firstly, the proposal is to place the turbines within the Port, a noisy, industrial area. That means vertical metal structures amid a landscape of vertical metal structures (the cranes).
Secondly, in regards to health concerns (addressed in further detail in our FAQs) the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia has been reviewing evidence on health impacts of wind farms for a number of years. In 2013 they released a systematic review finding no health impacts. Their words:
“There is no consistent evidence that noise from wind turbines―whether estimated in models or using distance as a proxy―is associated with self-reported human health effects. Isolated associations may be due to confounding, bias or chance.”
And regarding health impacts, why don’t we consider the negative health impacts of our existing coal-fired power generation? Here’s a letter to the prime minister, from Australia’s Doctors for the Environment, on the very real and immediate health impacts of coal.
So, Australia’s health experts (our doctors) find no issue with wind turbines — but many health issues with existing coal power. Perhaps Minister Nalder should consult some health experts, to prevent another misinformed public statement on these issues.
The port is state-owned land, and thus decisions about the use of that land should be towards the state’s best interests. Perhaps you would like to contact Minister Nalder to let him know your vision for the future of your port.
Thanks for your continued support,
– your FCWF team