I noticed in June 2023 that while the is no longer a Facebook page for the Waubra Foundation the Web page is still there, and someone, at least, is still searching the world for evidence in support of 'Wind Turbine Syndrome'.
The WF found a court ruling in France back in 2021 supporting a couple who complained about nearby wind turbines. The court found that the wind farm caused "abnormal neighbourly disturbance". The ruling was said to be "unprecedented". The term "Wind farm syndrome" seems to have been applied by a journalist. As I have written on another page on this site, irresponsible journalism leads too many problems.
Ms Laurie and the other 'directors' of the 'Foundation' no doubt realise that if she spoke simply as Ms Laurie, one time GP, she would have little credibility; as 'Medical Director' of the 'Waubra Foundation' they hope to make people believe that she is someone who is worthy of listening to.
The Foundation's message needs all the apparent credibility that the directors can manage. After all, they are trying to convince everyone in the world that there is something coming from wind turbines that doesn't come from other generators, such as diesel, gas, or coal fired generators; that is very hard to detect, affects some people but not others; some at great distances, while leaving nearby wind farm workers unaffected; and makes these susceptible people ill.
I suspect that the other members of the WF, who are all opposed to wind power, are cynically using Ms Laurie, while quite probably not believing in her strange ideas.
Over a period of several years (2013-14) the only name on the contact line on the bottom of the pages of the Waubra Foundation Net site that I could find was Ms Laurie's; the only personal email address was Ms Laurie's.
The Waubra Foundation has no physical link to the township of Waubra. It's registered address is Level 1, 183 Bank Street, SOUTH MELBOURNE VIC 3205, the same as that of Lowell Pty. Ltd. (Peter Mitchell is a director of Lowell Pty. Ltd.)
On 2011/10/13 the Waubra Foundation net site was claiming on their 'Our Organisation' page that Dr Sarah Laurie had an MD degree (a higher research degree). Professor Simon Chapman wrote a piece that was published on Crikey exposing the links that the Waubra Foundation has with anti-wind power groups and mentioning that Ms Laurie did not have an MD degree. I saw on 2011/10/16 that the claim had gone from the Waubra Foundation page. (Ms Laurie informed me that as far as she was concerned this was all a misunderstanding, and I accept that; but whether the person who put the 'MD' on the Net site was intending to deceive is unknown.)
"In the case of wind turbines, in some locations residents have noticed batteries on phones, cars, tractors, and cameras discharging very quickly, flourescent light bulbs lighting up spontaneously and electricity meters spinning much more quickly despite homes being abandoned and little electricity being used. These observations by the residents suggest changes to the electromagnetic fields (EMF) are occurring, indicating that new sound and vibration frequencies are not the only change to their environment.This suggests that the author of the Waubra Foundation Net pages is willing to write pretty much anything, so long as it seems to reflect badly on wind turbines.
Some of the Waubra turbines
Independent Australia site (as of August 2011).
According to Sandi Keane and other sources:
The Australian Landscape Guardians are a vociferous anti-wind-power group that seem to take very little other action to protect landscapes; they seem to be unconcerned about coal mining and coal-seam gas exploitation for example.
Peter Mitchell said on the ABC's Four Corners of 2011/07/25 "We are trying to bring to people's attention – developers, bureaucrats, government ministers, that wind turbines are dangerous to residents' health. And that's what I'm on about". This is far more negative than the neutral statements of the official Foundation objectives. The article by Sandi Keane says that "Mitchell certainly has interests in the fossil fuel industry. These include founding Chairman of the Moonie Oil Company Ltd. and Chairman or a Director of related companies including Clyde Petroleum plc, Avalon Energy Inc, North Flinders Mines Ltd, Paringa Mining & Exploration plc (most now delisted on the ASX)."
Of course the fossil fuel industry does not want to see sustainable energy taking over from fossil fuels.
In their turn the ALG are linked to the so-called Australian Environment Foundation (AEF), an off-shoot of the right-wing think tank the pro-nuclear Institute of Public Affairs. Both the ALG and IPA have climate-change scepticism leanings. Randall Bell, President of the ALG, has said that "claims the Earth is warming are scientifically unreliable" and that only 1% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was put there by Man.
ABC TV's Media Watch did a segment on the IPA and AEF on 2012/03/19, linking them to another astroturfer, the so-called Australian Climate Science Coalition, which is actually an anti climate-science group. Significantly, Ian Plimer is a member of the 'Scientific Advisory Panel' of the ACSC. (Mr Plimer used to be Professor of Mining Geology at Adelaide University, where, I believe, he became something of an embarrassment due to his unscientific stance on climate change. He left the University to devote himself more fully to his considerable mining interests.)
I believe that the Waubra Foundation have not made public the source of their funding.
Notes on the claims and demands of Sarah Laurie, Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation, are on a separate page.
Cimara Pearce wrote a piece for the Weekly Times Now on 2013/12/17 in which she reported the the Waubra Foundation (WF) had rejected calls by over three hundred petitioners for the lobby group to change its name. A press release stated:
"To change the name now would halt the momentum achieved by years of work by a small team of volunteers."It went on to state rather aragantly:
"The Foundation will not be making further comment on its decision."So, it seems that the Board of the WF are thumbing their collective noses at the people of Waubra.
Some of the people Neil interviewed also gave their opinions of the Waubra Foundation.
Friends of the Earth media release on 2012/01/24The FoE had, through a Freedom of Information request directed to NSW public health authority, NSW Health, obtained documents that cast considerable doubts over the credibility of the Waubra Foundation (WF). The media release included notes on the NSW Health Department's assessment of the WF's claims that wind turbines cause health problems. The assessment found that the claims of the WF were of the 'lowest category of scientific evidence', and had major methodological flaws.
Seven things you must know about the Waubra Foundation and Sarah Laurie. His main points:
Should taxpayers be funding anti-wind farm legal action? Among other things, the article made a good case that the Waubra Foundation was not entitled to 'tax free charity' status.
On 2013/07/06 I sent an objection to the Australian Tax Office against the Waubra Foundation's tax free status.
Ms Sarah Laurie, who mistakenly believes that wind turbines make people ill. It seems that the word 'foundation' has been used simply to try to give the group more credibility. Ms Laurie, who calls herself the Medical Director, and more recently the Chief Executive Officer, of the Waubra Foundation seems to be the main spokesperson for the group.
I have written a satirical sketch on this elsewhere on this site.
Coincidentally, Health Canada, in November 2014 produced a Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study: Summary of Results. Health Canada found that health and quality of life were unaffected by nearby wind turbines, some annoyance was found.
With particular regard to the noise and sleep, Health Canada reported that:
"The following were not found to be associated with WTN [wind turbine noise] exposure:In other words, there was no link found between sleep disorders and actual levels of wind turbine noise.
Related external pages...Source Watch on the Waubra 'Foundation':
"The Waubra Foundation is a front or astroturf group created by Peter Mitchell on March 1, 2010 to oppose wind farming in Australia. It was registered with Business Affairs as an incorporated body on that date but later deregistered on July 13, 2011."Source Watch is a respected organisation that assesses the credibility of Net sites.
Wikipedia says of the Waubra Foundation:
"Claims made by the Waubra Foundation relating to wind turbine syndrome and wind farm syndrome are considered pseudo scientific and are not recognised as actual diseases by any international disease classification system, nor do they appear in any title or abstract in the United States National Library of Medicine's PubMed database. Wind turbine syndrome has been characterized as pseudoscience. Since 2003, 25 reviews have been published of the scientific literature on wind turbines and health. These studies have consistently found no reason to believe that wind turbines are harmful to health."
Related pages on this site...Wind power and health
Friends of the Earth on the credibility of the WF
Improper use of tax-free status?
Mike Barnard on the WF
Neil Barrett's videos: The Way the Wind Blows
Partiality of the Waubra Foundation
What right to the Waubra name?
Wind turbine noise is 'torture' claim