MOYNE Shire Council has received only a fraction of expected compensation from energy company AGL to fix roads damaged by vehicles involved in construction of the Macarthur wind farm.
Early last year council chief executive David Madden indicated up to $14 million was required from the company, but a deal signed by six of the seven councillors recently means only about $1m will be paid in direct compensation.
However, mayor James Purcell said the allocation was an appropriate figure to resheet the Macarthur-Hawkesdale Road.
“It will enable the road to be restored to a standard as good as or better than when wind farm construction started,” he said.
“I’ve no idea how the $14 million figure quoted was reached last year.
“Most of the other damaged Moyne roads are in the arterial network which is under VicRoads.
“We’ll start the work as soon as possible.”
Former mayor Jim Doukas, who was the only dissenter to the agreement, told The Standard yesterday he was very disappointed by the outcome.
“To me it’s a poor deal and will leave the shire out of pocket for years,” he said.
“There’s a whole network of roads that were damaged by contractors carting from quarries all around the region. And what about motorists whose vehicles were damaged by the construction trucks?”
Cr Purcell criticised the lack of state government assistance for road repairs and the loose conditions associated with the planning permit for the 140-turbine Macarthur wind farm.
“It was only through the generosity of AGL that we got money to do this vital road repair. For future permits we will ensure there’s a very stringent road management plan.”
Wind farm opponent Ann Gardner said wind energy companies were not the good corporate citizens they made out. “This is a very serious issue that has been swept under the carpet,” she said.
Another district resident with property near the wind farm agreed ratepayers were likely to have to meet ongoing bills for repairs to other associated routes damaged by construction trucks.