Tablelands Regional Councillor, Marjorie Pagani, has hit back at claims by wind farm operator, Ratch Australia, that noise monitoring of the turbines at Windy Hill near Ravenshoe was a waste of ratepayers’ money.
Last week the council agreed to call for tenders from expert consultants to monitor the level of noise at the wind farm.
Ratch’s executive general manager, Geoff Dutton, said this would be the third time in recent months that the noise emitted from the turbines at Windy Hill would have been measured and was a “waste of scarce ratepayers’ funds”.
Ratch had commissioned an independent report from consultants who said that the noise levels complied with the original development approval by the Herberton Shire Council in 1999.
The monitoring was done after nearby resident Colin Walkden complained about the noise at his property.
Last month consultants employed by the TRC did a peer review of the data and agreed that it was within the limits, but only just.
Due to the closeness of the result, the TRC last week decided to call for tenders to monitor the noise around Mr Walkden’s property.
Cr Pagani said that until now they only had Ratch’s data to go on.
“There has been no independent monitoring of wind turbine noise by or on behalf of the council,” Cr Pagani said.
“A consultant was engaged by council to review the data supplied by Ratch.
“The council wants to ensure that the monitoring is done fairly and is not reliant upon the data or information supplied only by the operator.
“The council has now decided to offer tenders for the noise to be monitored independently of the operator.
“This has not been done to date.”
Cr Pagani is opposed to a proposal by Ratch to construct a 75-80 wind turbine farm at Mt Emerald near Walkamin.