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Register your thoughts about the Dragway Noise Document

seepi 13 June 2006 64

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:


Post to: Environment Protection Authority, Environment ACT, PO Box 144, Lyneham ACT 2602

Dear EPA,

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.)

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64 Responses to Register your thoughts about the Dragway Noise Document
Big Al 8:43 pm 13 Aug 06

They've paid big money to live there - of course they should be looked after - that's just democracy: the more money you've got, the more democracy you can afford.

seepi 7:01 pm 13 Aug 06

Why so rude??

Someone asked if we could hear the guns and I answered. I'm not complaining about the guns, and I used the wardrobe description to try to describe how the sounds is something that you almost feel more it than you hear it.

Planning laws in the inner north have been changed, to mean that noise levels can be louder than anywhere else in Canberra - which was the original subject of this post.

Are you saying that residents of the inner souht are better than everyone else???

Big Al 6:34 pm 12 Aug 06

Whinging shit bags. If you people want inner city convenience and leafy peace and quite pony up some real money and move to Forrest / Red Hill / Deakin / Yarralumla.

There’s nothing more annoying than some prick who thinks just cause they paid $500k for a dually in Watson they are somehow better than the rest of us. Carrying on about “…someone was throwing wardrobes around in the next room” actually weakens your argument because the planning laws only have to consider the impact on your average punter – not some hyper-sensitive dip-stick.

Bring on the dragway!

seepi 12:47 pm 12 Aug 06

The guns are noisy, but they only go for an hour or so at a time, not all weekend every weekend.

The other morning the guns were on, and in our house it was as if someone was throwing wardrobes around in the next room.

devo 10:11 am 08 Aug 06

re: goulburn dragway argument

Problem is any 'quality' dragway needs a traction prepped surface, this is incompatible with circuit racing, so a full new surface would need to be installed, and there isn't really the room out there to do it without flattening a few hills.

Does anyone get woken up by the gun clubs or the military firing range in watson etc? surely the spikes of noise from the big guns (the ones with wheels on the sides) would be louder than the dragway?

Danman 8:50 am 15 Jun 06

Read watson as Inner North - distracted at work dammit.

Danman 8:49 am 15 Jun 06

I would suggest a flat dry part of lake george - maybe do some land reclaiming to build the site - hay - it is already fully surrounded by mountains for a natural sound barrier but this would all be in vain as Watson people would claim it is too close and noisy.

VYBerlinaV8 7:34 am 15 Jun 06

"Bring on the dragway!"

I second the motion. Bring on the dragway!

Vic Bitterman 9:01 pm 14 Jun 06

Bring on the dragway!

Pandy 7:24 pm 14 Jun 06

Martin, in the read the report it says, 12,000 instances of 70dbA for aircraft versus 170 for drags. AND that is for the very worst dragway event. Most of the events will not have that level of noise at nearby residences. As a proportion the amount of noise is small. What are the nearby residences doing to shut-down the airport then?

Martin 5:52 pm 14 Jun 06

The big diff between aircraft and dragways though is the number of noise instances. There simply aren't a huge number of big planes flying in or out of Canberra. I understand though that dragway events will run a race every one to five minutes. That seems to be a big difference to me.

Pandy 5:15 pm 14 Jun 06

Ant, maybe seepi can answer the question. I have downloaded the document he/she posted above. It says some very detailed things about the maximum allowable noise like on page 30,

"The adjusted Laeq, 15 min must not exceed 65dBA at more than 5 residences." Where are these residences? The nearby farmhouses? Or:

"Noise insulation must be installed at all residences where the adjusted Laeq,15min exceeds 65dba......" or:

"The noise barrier must be built to a minimum height of 10m..." anmd where modelling says noise will exceed 65dbA higher noise barriers to be considered.

The report also seems to indicate that with these measures in place, the amount of noise would be less than the peak aircraft noise of 70dba at nearby residences (page 7) and have less events: 12,000 aircraft compared to 170 dragraces.

Again where are these residences? watson, Campbell.

With these protections in place the amount of annoyance would decrease to what is considred moderate annoyance, indoors, during the day/evening. Same as for aircrafts.

Absent Diane 4:21 pm 14 Jun 06

it could be... but to tell the truth I was just sick of writing the word dwag... sorry drag...

Big Al 4:09 pm 14 Jun 06

AD - is that a special facility for those drivers with a speech impediment?

Absent Diane 3:41 pm 14 Jun 06

I am sure goulburn would be excited by the prospect of a dwagway

xman 3:29 pm 14 Jun 06

I'm neither pro or anti. I have reservations about the gummint funding it and I also have reservations about any 'burb having different noise restrictions to others. Seems a tad unfair.

A motor sport mad workmate had the following suggestion - it's probably been mentioned in previously but I hadn't seen it.

Why not upgrade Wakefield Park? It's an hour away. Is already used by revheads on a frequent basis. Has a very long straight that could be modified by building an extension used as the start point. Goulburn could use the business.

Left field?

Thumper 3:25 pm 14 Jun 06

And you thought you had it tough?

When I were a lad, we used to live in pothole in middle of dragstrip that were used 28 hours a day, 8 days a week and 372 days a year, except for Christmas, when it was used for a children's party.

And that was hell I can tell you.

It were so noisy that we'd get woken up by the engines 30 minutes before we even got to sleep. And that was on a good day when the wind was howling in from the south and deadening the sound as well as freezing our ears....


ant 3:10 pm 14 Jun 06

Pandy, I used to live 2 to 3 kms from the old Dragway. Sorry dragway people: I was one of the directly affected people, and you can take to the bank that the ones who still live there have written VERY detailed submissions to the noise people regarding the proposed new dragway.

It's really interesting how the pro-dragway people can just write-off the misery caused to residents by their proposed playground. Don't let peoples' comfort in their own homes get in the way of fun activities.

Mr Evil 3:07 pm 14 Jun 06

Build it when the pro-dragway lobby can prove that the thing is going to pay for itself, instead of expecting the ACT taxpayer to fund the thing.

Big Al 1:25 pm 14 Jun 06

From recollection the pro-dragway group wanted a site in the south but none could be found so it ended up in the Majura Valley - positioning the thing was always going to be a Governmnet responsibility either directly or by default because even if the dragway bods were going to pay cash for a lease they'd want one that could have a dragway on it - which is essentailly a planning decision. The prefered site obviously meets all the necessary requirements, so all that needs to be done now is trot through the consultation process to let the watermelons vent their poisonous bile and then get on with building the thing.

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