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And so Tralee continues…

By Skidbladnir - 17 November 2009 88

[First Published on: Nov 12, 2009]
Back in February 2008, amidst the perfume of corruption wafting out of Wollongong, this Daily Telegraph piece revealed that despite having been earlier deemed ‘unsuitable for habitation’ by an expert panel, NSW Planning rezoned Tralee from a $4million dollar rural site owned by Village Building Company, into $200 million dollars of residential land owned by Village building Company.

The principal lobbyist for VBC at this time was Paul Whalan of Endeavour Consulting, former ACT Labor minister, friend of, and campaigner for NSW MP Steve Whan.

A fortnight ago, the Sydney Morning Herald brought word that the dreams of Village Building Company selling 5,000 homes aren’t beyond pulling a fast one on the NSW Planning Minister and using old-school real estate tricks, by organising her site visits to experience the flyover noise on days and times when there are reduced flights.

The SMH article also pointed out that Steve Whan, current NSW Labor member for Monaro and Queanbeyan resident, worked as a lobbyist for Village Building Company prior to being elected, and that despite the CEO of Village Building Company being a staunch member of the Liberal Party, both Steve Whan and NSW Labor have taken ‘donations’ from Village Building Company totalling $90,000.

Today the ABC Online bring us the joyous news that Tralee is far from dead, having been given approval by the NSW Planning Minister, it is now in the hands of the Queanbeyan City council.
With the promise of 5000 new homes built on their soil by Village Building Company (and receiving the ongoing rates thereof) Queanbeyan City Council has today opened the proposal to its public consultation phase.

1) There’s unlikely to be a caveat for homebuyers that “if you choose to live in house built under the flightpath after the 24 freight hub was announced, you really have no right to complain about aircraft noise”,
2) Any prior admission of problems will greatly diminish the immediate monetary return for the VBC,
3) Queanbeyan City Council will charge rates based on land value,
4) Any Tralee residents will be voters in the highly-contestable Eden-Monaro Federal electorate, rather than the ‘safe’ Federal electorates of Canberra or Fraser,
5) Regulation of airports is a Federal responsibility…

Expect collossal shitfights around local, state, and federal election time from now into the forseeable future.

In case you missed it, these are Queanbeyan City Council’s proposed sites.
This is the Gungahlin Community Council’s statement flyer on the Tralee development, and its likely impact on noise sharing for North Canberrans.

[Ed – thought this comment from the Village Building Co deserved more attention on this subject]
From Ken Ineson
Submitted on 2009/11/17 at 11:39pm
In response to the comments posted over the last few days:

Its not against the law to complain about things and I cannot guarantee that people won’t complain. If you look at records of complaints in any city, you will see that complaints are received from virtually every suburb about all sorts of issues. What we will do however is create an environment that fully informs people through notices on titles etc. This will help to minimise the liklihood of complaints and also provides a robust defence against complaints.

Outdoor noise levels in Tralee are substantially less than in may parts of Jerrabomberra and less than half the noise currently experienced by over one million Australians including a large proportion living near curfew free airports. The vast majority of these people are not concerned about aircraft noise. That population of 1 million people turns over continually with people moving from quieter areas into noisier areas without any concern.

Tralee is between 10km and 12 km from the airport and cannot be compared to Marrackville, Twin Waters or housing 3km from an airforce base. Noise levels at Tralee are so low that the Australian Standard does not require internal insulation for most of Tralee even if the airport grows larger than Sydney airport with fights including 747s at 2 minute intervals day and night. We have offered to insulate to provide additional amenity well beyond that provided in any other development in Australia and probably the entire world.

Tralee is close to the Monaro Highway and backgraound noise levels are slightly higher than Jerrabomberra. The background noise level at Tralee is not dissimilar to many perfectly acceptable suburbs around the country with far more aircraft noise than Tralee.

I find it interesting that I havent had a single response to my offer to inspect the site. I guess its much easier to jump on a soapbox while hiding behind a computer.

What’s Your opinion?

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88 Responses to
And so Tralee continues…
moneypenny2612 8:20 pm 13 Nov 09

pptvb said :

Also…what is “Environa”, As shown on Google Maps at Tralee ?

In the 1920s, Environa was intended to be one of the first ‘gated communities’ (the linked article includes drafting plans). Unfortunately the Great Depression meant the project was stillborn.

The entrepreneur behind the venture, Henry F. Halloran, was quite prolific around the ACT and Southern NSW.

An aerial view of the site is here.

Environa will probably return from the dead in the next decade or so, hey?

virgil99 7:50 pm 13 Nov 09

Environa is a farm property that has been there since days of federation. AFAIK, most of that land was owned by the farm orginally, including Jerra.

cranky 7:22 pm 13 Nov 09

OK, double post.

Could I also invite Sepi, as an advocate of the noisy northern suburbs, to spend an hour or so over a really slow coffee, to also assess the relative noise levels of Hackett (?) versus Tralee/Hume. This is a perfectly serious offer. Sepi is quite knowledgeable about the subject of aircraft noise.

I suspect that there would be little comparison between the two sites.

cranky 7:00 pm 13 Nov 09

Ken @ #11,

Thoroughly agree. I have shared my experience, as a Hume businessperson, a number of times on this forum. I have invited the former kingpin of this site to sit at the Hume Canteen, about 200 metres from the edge of Tralee, to experience the (almost total lack of) noise from arriving/departing aircraft. I have not been told if the offer was taken up.

Bottom line – very little aircraft noise over Tralee/Hume. Jerra cops the worst of it already.

I am no apologist for the VBC. But if the noise aint there, don’t try to invent it.

Ken Ineson 6:06 pm 13 Nov 09

I am the Village Building Co’s project manager for the proposed Tralee development. There is a lot of misinformation being posted on RiotACT and in the media. Anyone who is genuinely interested in the Tralee proposal is welcome to contact me at to arrange an inspection of the site. I am happy to take anyone to the site during the morning or afternoon peak periods for aircraft movements, during southerly operations or northerly operations. I have already taken over one hundred people to the site and everyone has said they cannot understand what all the fuss is about.

Gungahlin Al 4:43 pm 13 Nov 09

Stupid subdivision that should not be built. Same as most of Jerra.
What we have is a highly speculative purchase by a developer who bought something with very poor development potential in the hope that they could pull off a rezoning against all odds, then sit back and reap windfall profits. Only the bigger developers can afford the holding costs of trying to pull off this sort of coup. Or extraordinary connections. Or both.

The key ingredient they need is time, because they can always wear down resistance over a number of years, because people just get sick of the fight, or they move elsewhere. And others can be “bought off” by strategic offers of community facilities.

It is an insidious aspect of the development industry that brings it no end of ill repute.

In my personal opinion.

sloppery 4:04 pm 13 Nov 09

Hope you Canberrans enjoy the fruit of your Chief Minister’s labour in putting the gaol next to Jerra…

Bluenomi 3:52 pm 13 Nov 09

bd84, I completely agree. It’s on thing to buy a house, then for the flight path to change but if you know before you buy that it is under a flight path, you have no right to complain.

But you know they will anyway and then they’ll move the flight paths and the rest of us will get the noise because we live in safe Canberra seats and they are in Eden-Monaro

Up The Duffy 3:04 pm 13 Nov 09

“You would be a fool to want to live there”. Qwimbo further south.

pptvb 10:48 am 13 Nov 09

I’m probably wrong Watto, but I was under the impression that one of VBC’s problems was that, while their plans show road access to the Monaro H’way, ACT govt aren’t going to approve it. It should make Tharwa Dr fairly busy in the mornings.
Also…what is “Environa”, As shown on Google Maps at Tralee ?

watto23 10:19 am 13 Nov 09

The other issue I had with this development was the main road was going to connect straight onto the Monaro highway. That way all congestion would be moved into the ACT in the morning rather than via Queanbeyan roads…..

I know many people now who complain of aircraft noise in Jerrabomberra. The airport has always been there since Jerra was built.

And the noise is always going to become greater as well. no point arguing about the noise predictions which seems to have occured.

dvaey 8:59 am 13 Nov 09

JimT said :

^^^Does that rule apply to the residents of Hackett, Watson and Gungahlin also?

Well, the previous airport (circa 1922), used to be called ‘Northborne Aviation Ground’, and was located between majura ave and northborne, close to Antill St, which is pretty much where Hackett is now, so yes, that applies even moreso. The airport was there long before any of those 3 suburbs were even suburbs.

Hackett/Watson maybe not as much as they were developed with much fewer aircraft flying around (dozen per month instead of dozen per day), but since Gungahlin was formed, there has always been enough aircraft flying around for anyone to be aware of their presence before buying into the area.

Pandy 12:57 am 13 Nov 09

Only Tralee Jimbo

JimT 10:04 pm 12 Nov 09

^^^Does that rule apply to the residents of Hackett, Watson and Gungahlin also?

bd84 8:15 pm 12 Nov 09

Number one rule for the development should be: you choose to live there, you live with the aircraft noise. Forever and always. No options.

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