I write to the NHMRC here as a priest and a very concerned pastor of the Orthodox Church. I am a monk and leader of the monastic community of the Russian Orthodox Church of Australia called the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (HTM). We have been extremely concerned with the way in which wind farms, and in particular the one adjacent to our existence in far southern NSW called Boco Rock Windfarm, will have an impact upon our community as shown in current predicaments around the globe and here in Australia at existing and operating wind developments. Our existence, indeed function, depends very much on the stability and silence of the natural surroundings. We accommodate 4000 people per annum at our guest facilities and take great efforts in assisting and attending to their diverse and complex needs. My job is to oversee the function and wellbeing of the monastic community and the visitors who seek respite and care through our doors. Having become aware of the anecdotal information available about the health impacts wind farms can have on people, I took my own initiative and visited wind farm communities and affected peoples both here in Australia and abroad in the USA, Japan, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Turkey, Greece and Germany. I am unequivocally convinced that after hundreds of discussions, staying at peoples houses, counselling and consoling them in their suffering, that these adverse health impacts from wind turbines are not anecdotal nor ‘nocebo’ but unfortunately true and even worse than possibly imagined.
My travels in Turkey 2012 are a good example of the anguish people adjacent to wind farms are enduring. Having arrived there to the outskirts of the city of Antakya near the border with Syria to look at ancient ruins, we happened upon a cluster of 28 120 meter tall turbines “kindly” donated by the German government right in the middle of this very poor stone hut village. Without any need for prompting my driver and his family who were showing us about the ruins, they detailed to me with sorrow and anger the soaring rates of cancer and complex health issues within their own family, let alone the entire village there. They had never heard of ‘wind turbine syndrome’ nor did they have access to the internet or have literacy skills to verify or understand what was happening to them, such was their level of dire poverty. But regardless of verifying or testing somehow that these turbines were killing them or not, one thing was clear and that was everybody in this village was somehow medically and mentally impacted upon as a result of the the turbines being planted in the middle of their village.
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