Two researchers received $3.3 million to deeply study the correlation of wind turbines and sicknesses said to be caused by it. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) awarded the funds to Guy Marks and Peter Catcheside to study the effects of wind turbine to human health over five years.

The NHMRC increased the original funding of $2.5 million to $3.3 million due to limited reliable source and no direct evidence of its effect to physical and mental health.

"These grants directly support the Australian Government's commitment to determine any actual or potential effects of wind farms," said Anne Kelso, NHMRC's chief executive.

The funds were given to Guy Marks, a professor at University of New South Wales with $1.94 million to search for the effects of noise, sound waves and infrasound to human's mood, sleep, and cardiovascular health. The other $1.36 million was awarded to Peter Catcheside, who is an associate professor at Flinders University to study whether wind turbines or wind farms disturb sleep as compared to traffic noise.

"There are just too many uncontrolled variables in that setting. The only way really to properly answer the question of how disturbing is wind farm noises compared to other noises is to do the in-laboratory experiment," Catcheside said.

Claims Of Sickness

Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy reported that some of the residents are having sleep disturbances and vertigo caused by the low-frequency sound coming from wind turbines in Shirley Wind Farm.

Former Brown County Health Director Chua Xiong said that she experiences migraines whenever she visits the wind farm and even takes Tylenol for prevention before heading there.

Oppositions Raised Over The Funding

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Senior members of the Abbott government have publicly announced their opposition on wind farms, along with then treasurer Joe Hockey who says wind turbines are 'a blight on the landscape'.

Simon Chapman, University of Sydney emeritus professor, said that there had been almost 25 international reviews which showed little evidence of the direct effects of wind turbines. He added, though, that these could just be some resentment of locals having little to no benefits claimed from the wind turbines in their area.

"It's really quite disgraceful - it's money literally poured down the drain," Chapman said. Adding that hundreds of researchers might be angry because the funding was awarded to a wind farm research.

Photo: Ryan Mcdonald | Flickr

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