PORT Campbell duck farmer Greg Clarke has refused to meet with the Environment Protection Authority for another “talkfest” over noise complaints concerning a Port Campbell gas plant.
Mr Clarke has been a vocal and persistent complainant in relation to noise caused by the Origin gas plant.
He said he and his wife Jodi recently spent a couple of months overseas but returned to be confronted by another “explosion” at 1.50pm on September 27.
“We are the only people on the west side to complain, everyone else is either employed at the plant or has been bought out by the gas plant,” he said.
“We reported the event but obviously nothing happened. We met with the head of the EPA in the south-west during February and nothing has happened since then.”
In July this year, Port Campbell gas plant noise complaints were outlined as a priority in the EPA’s annual compliance plan.
EPA south west manager Eve Graham said the new plan outlined what the regulator would specifically investigate and which issues impacted local communities.
Mr Clarke said nothing had happened.
“To be fair to them, this week I received an email from a woman from the EPA asking for another meeting this week.
“I replied I was not interested in another talkfest and that I would only meet if there is going to be put in place extensive and prolonged noise testing,” he said.
“My understanding is there has to be confirmed breaches over a month to prosecute.
“I’m proposing testing here at our place for a month here and each of other effected homes as well.”
Mr Clarke said that the bigger issue was that the EPA was not being resourced so that regulations could be policed in the south-west.
“The EPA keep telling us they’re hamstrung by lack of funding and personnel. There was originally going to be one plant down here and now there are four. If the EPA is not going to enforce the guidelines you have a laughable situation of self regulation,” he said.
“It’s like all the police being taken off the road. I’m driving along in my car, I look down and see I’m travelling at 115km/h and when I get home I ring up someone to send me a ticket. It’s beyond laughable.”
Mr Clarke said noise was difficult to assess and there needed to be comprehensive testing.
“Noise is subjective. Origin has come up with many explanations but month-long testing can’t be ignored or explained away by crickets chirping or cows mooing,” he said.
Port Campbell farmer Mark Bull is pushing for a community meeting to be held with Origin.
He lives on the north side of the plant where he says he cops the brunt of the noise.
“Origin don’t want a meeting because they don’t want everyone together at one time. Everyone would then understand the real extent of all the problems,” he said. “The works are now three times the size of what it was going to be when the impact report was written. It’s all cloak and dagger stuff.”