Northern Grampians Shire Council has undone the decision to reduce the hours when the Stawell Town Hall clock chimes and revert to its original hours of sounding.
In February 2021, the council decided to restrict the hours at which the clock sounded from 6am-11pm to 8am-10pm.
Before its April meeting, the council then received a petition with 280 signatories requesting the clocks chiming be reinstated to its original times.
At Northern Grampians Shire Council's meeting on Monday, May 4, councillor Lauren Dempsey moved to revert the clock chiming back to its original cycle of 6am-11pm.
Cr Dempsey explained at the meeting that council officers had initially believed the chiming to be in breach of Environment Protection Agency 'Annoyed by noise?' guidelines.
"Council had initially received some complaints from residents in regards to the noise and the times from the Town Hall clock and that matter was dealt with internally and checked with the EPA guidelines," she said.
"The motion to move the petition 28 days from our last council meeting was to review the EPA guidelines to ensure we weren't breaking any state regulations and it was found that we weren't in this instance and we could change it back to 6am-11pm."
Northern Grampians Shire acting director infrastructure John Hunt compiled a report for the council on the matter ahead of the May council meeting.
It stated, "the chimes do not fit neatly into any EPA regulation/legislation requirements or prohibited times," but that upon review "The chiming of the Town Hall clock is not referred to or in breach of any specific legislation or regulation."
Cr Kevin Erwin seconded the motion and said reverting the times was common sense.
"This clock has chimed away at these times for 90 years without too much grumbling from the community," he said.
"I think it was two people (that complained about the chiming) as opposed to the 240-odd (280) that filled out the petition. If those people still have concerns about the clock, then community consultation might be the way to go.
"We don't change things for one or two people, generally. We're still a democracy last time I looked, and I think to revert it back to its original times is a good move."
The complaints had come from a customer at an accommodation provider who stated the noise kept them awake.
Council also reported an accommodation provider had previously informed its operation department that the chimes affected patrons' sleep.
At the meeting, Northern Grampians Shire mayor Murray Emerson said he "endorsed" Cr Dempsey and Cr Erwin's comments on the matter and defended the initial decision of council offices to change the times of the chiming.
"The decision by our officers was not the wrong decision at the time, it was just a decision they considered in regards to what the thought were the noise pollution rules and," he said.
"As a result, the community has come forward and said 'we don't want the clock to be chiming at these hours of the day, we'd like it to be reverted back to what it initially was.
"So it's a great example of this council listening to people within the community and then taking action."
The motion was passed unanimously.
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