A south-west council won't pay to do noise testing at a second wind farm site, despite agreeing months earlier to test the Hawkesdale Wind Farm.
Moyne Shire councillors voted 1-6 not in favour of Cr Jim Doukas' push for council-paid contractors to do independent noise testing at the Ryan Corner Wind Farm site, near Port Fairy, before construction begins.
Councillors had voted narrowly 4-3 to approve independent testing at the Hawkesdale Wind Farm in December but three councillors voted differently when asked to approve tests at Ryan Corner on Tuesday.
The work in Hawkesdale is expected to cost between $20,000 and $50,000 but the council is yet to select a contractor. The National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer said prior to the Hawkesdale vote he did not recommend the council do its own independent noise testing.
Cr Jordan Lockett was one councillor who voted differently than in December on Tuesday. "We need to assess how we can best support our ratepayers by spending our money in a strategic way rather than ad-hoc each meeting bringing things to council," Cr Lockett said.
"We need to strategise our advocacy to state and federal governments, there are very specific ways we can do that rather than fumbling through each meeting with various things coming to us with no information."
Cr James Purcell said he would vote against the testing for similar reasons he voted against the Hawkesdale testing.
"I don't know what we do with it when we get it," he said. "I don't believe this would be the end of it. I'm not sure if each month we would have a new wind farm come in front of us that we look at obtaining data for."
Cr Daniel Meade said he did not believe it was the role of council to do the testing, insisting it was the council's job to advocate to the state government instead.
Cr Doukas said he was sceptical of the wind farm company's own testing and wanted the community to be able to verify claims the site would be complaint.
He successfully moved motions to ask the wind farm companies to release their own raw noise data and to ensure the council released its data for the Hawkesdale site.
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