FOR most visitors, the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia’s 26th Anniversary Rally which has descended on Sale the past week has been a chance to relax, socialise and take in some local sights.
But for a Mt Eliza couple, it has been a chance to escape what they say has become a nightmare.
Vic and Rosemary Trudeau say they were forced out of their house six months ago because of health problems which they blame on a smart meter.
After they had solar panels fitted, a smart meter was installed, and they say that’s when their problems began.
Within days Rosemary said she began feeling irritable and had a “ringing” sensation in her head.
When she left the home, the symptoms disappeared, re-appearing when she returned.
“I’d never had any problems before, and I’d lived in the house 22 years,” she said.
Between them they have reported symptoms such as the high pitched ringing in their heads, nausea, headaches, cognitive difficulties including difficulties concentrating, heart palpitations and insomnia.
“Vic goes deaf when we go home; it takes him about three days to get his hearing back (after we leave),” Rosemary said.
Rosemary has a doctor’s certificate stating she is sensitive to electromagnetic radiation and had been suffering severe health problems since the smart meter’s installation.
The doctor requested that the smart meter be immediately removed to “minimise any permanent impairment this may cause to her health”.
The couple asked the power company which installed the device to remove it, but they said it’s all operating to Australian standards, and there’s nothing they can do.
The Trudeaus have also contacted the Victorian Energy Ombudsman to try and resolve the issue.
“We wasted five months of our time,” Rosemary said.
Testing was carried out, but she said the ombudsman had declined to say what tests were carried out or divulge the results.
They were given three options: To have the main fuse pulled to the house, to have the smart meter removed at their expense (they would no longer be connected to the grid) or to sell the house and move interstate.
In addition, the couple said since the smart meter had been installed, appliances had been failing, including their refrigerator, computer monitor and telephone.
“About eight have died and others are mucking up,” Rosemary said.
The Trudeaus say the compulsory installation of smart meters is not fair because there are no options for those who are sensitive.
The State Government plans to have them installed in every home and business by the end of next year.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.