Outrage is growing against the ACT horror budget, in which schools are closing, yet expensive recreational projects such as the dragway are going ahead.
Many inner north residents oppose the dragway, due to the immense noise pollution it will create on weekends between 9AM-9PM. The Environmental Protection Agency in Canberra is proposing a change to the ACT’s noise protection policy, to allow substantially greater noise in the inner north than anywhere else in Canberra. They openly state that this is to allow the dragway to operate. Under current ACT noise pollution laws the dragway 3km from the suburbs would be disallowed. And Mt Majura nature park would not be turning into the Dragway Noise Buffer Zone, with average noise levels of 100 decibells.
Responses to the ACT government’s dragway noise policy are due by tomorrow – Wednesday 14 June. This is the consultation Andrew Barr has referred to. Although it seems the only way affected residents would find out about this noise report is by word of mouth. If you are concerned about the dragway you can email or post the letter below – or your own version of it to Daniel Walters at the EPA. Letters must be specifically about dragway noise and the noise report. Letters supporting or opposing the dragway altogether should be sent to Andrew Barr separately.
If you want to read the EPA’s dragway noise amendment report it is at:
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Post to: Environment Protection Authority, Environment ACT, PO Box 144, Lyneham ACT 2602
I am writing this letter to let you know my concerns about the Draft Dragway Motor Sport Environment Protection Policy (EPP).
I am concerned about this document because:
The document is very long, hard to understand and hard to find on the government website. This is not conducive to open and consultative government.
I only found out about the report by chance, and I feel many affected Canberrans may not know about it, and will not get the chance to comment.
I am concerned that there are special less stringent noise regulations being proposed for one small area of Canberra – the suburbs and nature parks in close proximity to the dragway. I believe all of Canberra should have the same noise protections.
It seems that the noise has been measured in an average form, rather then listing the actual peak noises. This means I am unsure of how loud the peak noises will be. I am afraid noise will drive me out of bed in the mornings – or at the least, make conversation impossible in the backyard during bbqs and other events.
I am concerned that houses in the affected areas are not equipped to cope with louder noise levels than the rest of Canberra. Those without cooling systems rely on opening windows to get a breeze. This EPP allows for noise for 12 hour periods, which is too long for affected residents to go without opening any windows to their homes.
The duration of the noise proposed in the EPP from 9AM to 9PM is too long. The disruptive noise should not be allowed to go on after dark. Small children will be sleeping, and also background noise levels will be diminished. Noise should also not be able to start at 9.00AM. I feel disruptively noisy events should be limited to afternoons only.
Compensation should be available. I feel that if normal life is impossible in affected homes due to excessive noise, sound proofing should be paid for by the government. It is unfair for residents to have to bear excessive costs to make houses liveable.
Mt Majura nature park is a beautiful spot, beloved by many, and used by hundreds each evening and weekend. It is upsetting that this area is not protected from the dragway noise at all in the EPP, as it is not residential. In fact it is described as a noise buffer zone. The Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura area is utilised by many people who do not live in the immediate locale, and are not aware of the planned dragway, and the noise policy document. This document should be much more widely publicised, to achieve any level of genuine community consultation.
(Full name and residential address must be included for this to count as a a formal response to the EPP.)