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Moyne councillor slams Macarthur wind farm noise review

A Moyne Shire Councillor has hit out at the operators of the huge Macarthur wind farm, saying they should be “tied to a tree and flogged with a whip”.

In a fiery address to the council’s meeting on Tuesday night, Cr Jim Doukas refused to accept a peer review commissioned by the shire which found company AGL was operating the 140-turbine wind farm within noise guidelines.

“It is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever read in my life and AGL should be tied to a tree and flogged with a whip,” Cr Doukas said.

He said the noise readings taken by AGL’s consultants were “insignificant” and “outside the guidelines” and questioned how a peer reviewer could find them compliant.

“For anyone who reads this and says this is a fair and honest report is just not right and should be ashamed.

“We as a council should not make the determination on the report here tonight. We haven’t gone out to the public.

“No one in Australia who is involved in the wind energy industry, whether they support it or not, has had the chance to look at this and make comment and I think there are wiser heads out there than ours.

“As for those who are objectors, they are entitled to make comment and address council on the issue.

“If we support this tonight we deny them their right and I don’t think that’s right. We are shoving it down their throats and forgetting about the community and, for me, that’s just not on.”

But Cr Mick Wolfe disagreed with the outburst, saying people had already had a chance to comment.

“It’s time for this to go through. We’ve got our report and it’s been reviewed, the facts are in there,” Cr Wolfe said.

“We’ve heard from others alleging corruption, fraud, failure – you name it.

“Everything that AGL or the testers try to do that’s not in favour of the opponents they slam them with some pretty serious allegations.

“They (the opponents) have had a chance to come to any council meeting and show us their data.

“They are hiding it, they are holding it and not releasing it and I don’t know why. Come forward with it.”

The council agreed with the report’s findings that the wind farm is complying with noise levels, but has called for further monitoring within 12 months.

This follows advice from the peer reviewer that noise emissions can change over time as faults develop within the turbines and parts need replacing.

A spokeswoman for AGL yesterday welcomed the council’s confirmation of the report.

She said AGL had already carried out more than 40,000 hours of noise monitoring at Macarthur which was “well beyond” the level required under the shire’s planning permit.