Thursday 12 December 2013

Waubra disease a furphy
24 Oct 2013

Waubra disease does not exist.

In my view it is a name dreamt up by the Australian Landscape Guardians group for what has always been known as wind turbine syndrome.

Others followed suit for their own ends, such as gaining publicity for the so-called Waubra Foundation. This group of people owes the community of Waubra an apology for the damage they have done to the town's reputation. More important, they owe our schoolchildren a heartfelt and public apology for the psychological pain inflicted on them when they and their parents saw full-page ads claiming Waubra disease could make them ill.

Some children panicked every time they had a cold or any other normal childhood illness. It was a cruel hoax and someone needs to be accountable. Yes, Waubra does have a wind farm, but in a community of more than 500 people only about 1.3% are vehemently opposed to it. The rest are in favour of it or don't mind either way. Life goes on as it has for more than 100 years in a great community.

We still produce award-winning potatoes, crops, wool and fat lambs. Waubra Primary School is thriving, full of happy, healthy, carefree students. Yes, local groups such as the CFA, school, kinder, sports clubs, Landcare groups and others receive financial assistance from the wind farm, but that happens any time a large company moves into a local neighbourhood.

It is not "buying" those in it. It is showing appreciation to people for allowing their company to grow and prosper there. I don't have a problem with Landscape Guardians or individuals who have complaints of ill health or depression that they attribute to the wind farm.

I do, however, have a problem with those who have never lived in Waubra who perpetrated an outrageous lie, tarnished the reputation of the community which, far from being divided and fractured, is a united one full of mutual support.

I believe Waubra is owed an apology and statements that use the name Waubra disease should be retracted. Call it what it is-wind turbine syndrome-and let Waubra be known for what is it, one of the best farming areas in the country with property prices increasing. Visit our town and our wind farm. Only then will you know the truth.

Marsha Gallagher is a Waubra resident with turbines on her property.