DEVELOPERS behind a south-west wind farm have sent a Melbourne-based contractor back to the city after community members raised concerns they were from a coronavirus lockdown area.
Wind Prospect director Ben Purcell said the ecologist was working in the region at Willatook and Hexham project sites this week, undertaking seasonally-dependent survey work.
"This specialist consultant is based in Melbourne, but is able to legally travel to regional Victoria for the purposes of work," Mr Purcell said in a statement.
"The consultant had to travel through a police-ADF roadblock on the Geelong freeway and was able to pass through this roadblock on this basis."
The company directed the worker to be outdoors and not meet with people.
But Willatook Community Engagement Committee member Paul Lewis said community members became concerned workers from Melbourne were visiting the area.
He then contacted the Moyne Shire to ask whether the council knew about this week's work.
"People are worried we are free of the virus in Moyne Shire and we have people coming from Melbourne," Mr Lewis said.
Mr Purcell said Wind Prospect "pulled the consultant from the field" after receiving complaints and they returned to Melbourne late Wednesday.
"We regret that this survey work has caused concern," he said.
Wind Prospect has hosted drop-in sessions at Hexam, Ellerslie and Caramut this week, but Moyne Shire and Warrnambool-based employees have staffed those sessions, the company says.
"Melbourne-based Wind Prospect staff have not visited the project areas since the pandemic began," Mr Purcell said.
"While the survey work this week is within the current government guidelines we acknowledge the concerns raised by some members of the community. In response to these concerns the policies of all consultants engaged by Wind Prospect will be re-evaluated prior to any further survey work taking place."
The state government says there are only three reasons to cross the border between regional Victoria and areas in lockdown including all of Melbourne.
These reasons are shopping for food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, and if it unable to do so at home, study and work.
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