A STANDING room only crowd that packed Portland Arts Centre to hear a discussion of wind farms and health got a highly detailed lecture on the science of acoustics at a forum organised by Senator John Madigan on Tuesday night.
While health issues were raised several times by participants, the two-hour presentation was dominated by complex explanations of the characteristics and measurement of various forms of sound, information supplied by audio engineer Steven Cooper.
Using more than 20 power point graphs and charts, Mr Cooper gave highly detailed reports on turbine and other noise he had measured at wind farms in New South Wales and South Australia.
He was very careful to take a neutral position on the contentious issue of where wind farms should be located and any possible illnesses they might cause to some people who live near them.
“I’m just an audio guy,” Mr Cooper told the crowd several times. “I can’t do the linking between sound and health. There might be an impact. But I also support the general idea of wind farms.”
He said he was somewhat concerned that most of the studies he had read were peer reviews of other people’s work and there was “an absence of data to say what’s going on.” He strongly recommended a multi-disciplinary approach to deciding where wind farms should be located.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.