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Doctors for the Environment Australia spokesperson addresses peak medical body's renewable energy advocacy

In the midst of a tense week between farmers and conservationists and Canberra's political class, one peak medical body in Australia has signalled its support for a high volume of clean energy projects to be carried out in the near future.

Image credit: Doctors for the Environment Australia official Facebook page.

Appearing on the Country Viewpoint program this week, Dr Ben Ewald told listeners that evidence has been unearthed which rules out any possibility that individuals living near windfarms can suffer from health issues due to the turbine technology.

"There were stories circulated around about people having all kinds of health problems, mostly due to living near wind farms and recently some researchers in Sydney did very detailed and good research on this, taking groups of volunteers and exposing them in a research setting to either genuine infrasound, that's the low frequency sound up to 20 hertz that can't be heard by humans, either true infrasound or actual traffic noise," Ewald said.

"Then they followed up looking at their sleep patterns and their sex hormones and all kinds of things and they could show that traffic noise was having adverse effects on people, but they showed no effect from the infrasound exposure. 

"Infrasound is a real thing but infrasound is not harmful to humans, that has been proven in quality scientific research and that question never needs to be researched again."

Ewald also pointed to economic prosperity as another key factor for why more people should welcome the push for renewables in isolated Australian communities.

Australia's coal-fired power stations are all getting very old and reaching the end of their life and they're going to be shut down, the question is what they are replaced with and the cheapest new renewable and new energy source, the cheapest new energy source of any kind nowadays is solar farms and wind farms," Ewald said.

"Because solar farms don't work at night obviously, wind farms have a very important role in providing continuous electricity and they're the key technology that will allow Australia to move away from burning coal for electricity. 

"From a regional Australian perspective, there'll be a whole lot of new jobs coming into regional areas, both to build new farms and to do the maintenance for them and there are arrangements being put in place where farmers hosting these farms will receive payments for them as payments for transmission lines.

"This can really be a big boost for regional economies especially when you think that this income won't be weather dependent. So in regional areas where often there's great financial hardship during a drought for instance. You know the income stream from renewable energy projects of course is going to see people over those hard times. 

"So, I would have thought that regional Australians would be very happy to see these projects being developed."


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