And so Tralee continues…

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.

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88 Responses to And so Tralee continues…
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Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 5:13 pm 25 Nov 09

I have since responded to Ken, not in the affirmative, since work has unexpectedly claimed all of my free time.
If there is a better time (weekends?) I’d be more likely to go, probably a few others on here too.

Like che, I appreciate Ken at least engaging with what could be an argumentative and oppositional group of people .
(And he quickly responds to emails)

che che 4:24 pm 25 Nov 09

thanks for coming on here Ken and taking the time and effort to answer peoples questions

Ken Ineson Ken Ineson 9:54 am 25 Nov 09

I havent received a single text message in response to my offer to give a site tour tomorrow morning. I am therefore cancelling. If anybody is interested send an email to

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 8:09 am 25 Nov 09

maza said :

There is a need for housig so land should be released…….Why all the wingeing?? Yes I am thinking of buying a house in Tralee and have lived with flight path noise in Melbourne. I am sure it would not be worse than that. You just get used to it. People who want to complain will complain no matter what??? in my opinion.

Well you are going to be right at home then. Byron is all over the front page of the CT today sprouting about how his brilliant curfew-free airport is just primed to be the second Sydney Airport. Keep your TV remote handy – you’ll be turning the volume up and down like a yoyo.

Perhaps Jazz is onto something. Perhaps we should start agitating to stop the supposed noise reduction measure of having all night-time arrivals and departures at the north end?

If the support of Jerra residents is helping this Tralee get off the ground, and aircraft noise is NOT a problem down their end, then perhaps they should have it back at night time too. Sure the Hackett residents wouldn’t mind sending it back. And it would be nice to reduce the volume of departures looping around Gungahlin.

maza maza 10:47 pm 24 Nov 09

There is a need for housig so land should be released…….Why all the wingeing?? Yes I am thinking of buying a house in Tralee and have lived with flight path noise in Melbourne. I am sure it would not be worse than that. You just get used to it. People who want to complain will complain no matter what??? in my opinion.

Jazz Jazz 5:46 pm 21 Nov 09

You asked how money would stick to canberra, not whether i thought a job in warehousing was a great career or not. for some people i’m sure it is.

I’d also note that Sydney is not the only other city in Australia. Freight flights into there are often destined to other locations in Australia.

You seem concerned that the airport might benefit out of this, sure they will, so will the rest of canberra when they need to employ more staff.

You might also want to consider that aircraft can take off in the other direction, and not over hackett, campbell or kingston… ooh that would be towards tralee wouldnt it?

tommy tommy 2:01 pm 21 Nov 09

The only way that CIA can make any money from 24×7 freight is if the freight arrives in Sydney before the first flight. So in reality there only opportune window is for Hackett, Campbell and Kingston residents to be hearing dirty great 747s landing and taxiing at 3am.

Despite the claim of “warehousing opportunities” – (a) it’s hardly a great career (b) there is no point warehousing anything at CBR as unless the freight arrives in Sydney before 7am you may as well land the freight in SYD once the curfew is lifted for the morning. For 24×7 freight to work for CIA it’ll be off the plane and straight onto the trucks.

At best there’ll be some shift work. Which could be shipped in from Sydney on the empty trucks which will have to travel out at CBR each day. None of the trucks would be based or even serviced in CBR as they would be in SYD being used during the day. At best they’d get a tank of diesel (at the airport).

As to sending OUT freight – having it arrive the next day is already a reality right now with the existing infrastructure. I’m not sure a fully laden 747 can even take off from CBR airport without a touch and go on the nearby hills.

Just about all the money will go directly to the CIA and business located at the airport (who’ll maintain a minimal presence) – as airport land is Commonwealth they will contribute very little to the ACT economy via taxation. But will contribute greatly to additional pollution (noise and environmental) all to be copped by local ACT and NSW residents.

Jazz Jazz 8:14 am 21 Nov 09

Tommy, I typically dont astroturf my own site & had formed that opinion well before going to the ‘junkett’ you mention.

Without going into too much detail i’ll use your shortsighted suggestion that the ONLY traffic will be freight redirected to sydney. Who do you think is going to do the job of transferring that freight from the plane to those trucks? where’s it going to be stored when the trucks arent available, who’s going to staff those warehouses, who’s going to build them?

Do you suggest that there would be no growth opportunities for businesses leveraging a curfewless freight hub? What about those using canberra as a base to send out time critical infrastructure or parts so that its available to businesses around australia first thing the next morning? At the moment many such businesses are located in sydney and cant send that stuff until til the first flight out of sydney leaves at 5am.

I didnt mention that we’d have aircraft traffic over our homes at 3am because AT THE MOMENT there are no housing developments under those flight paths

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 1:02 am 21 Nov 09

sloppery said :

My main problem with Tralee is that it sounds kinda bogan.

Yeah I think that’s why I’m almost attracted to the thought lol Oh well I’m living in Dr. Evatt the oposition leader, or I dunno did he ever get up lol. Oh well sometimes I have that problem… See, think I’m fitting in already there!

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 12:55 am 21 Nov 09

oh and to reflect kindly Ken, you are handling it very well in here. For a used lot salesman anyhow 😉 Thanks for taking the time.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 12:21 am 21 Nov 09

I think a good question for Ken is what sort of internet are people to expect out at Tralee?
Is it another let’s just build it and see what they plonk in that one and heaps get screwed.
Yep Evatt where I am was denied in my time but mostly had a steady high dial up compared to my friends in nearby areas all over). It still suffers dropouts heaps and in the last three weeks woeful. (ADSL2)

Please understand I am not asking you to know everything, nor divulge anything, but let’s not make it all about aircraft and remember to remember the people who have lives (yeh we think it’s a life) to live and dreams to build (perhaps on the net, there’s a thought!). Moreover just asking if you know if it’s going to be different for this new suburb? Would even maybe offset the aircraft noise to have a really super dooper as promised by the Australian Govt. net speed (or it in the works at least). Well.. I did say maybe..

tommy tommy 8:57 pm 20 Nov 09

Jazz – is that a load of astroturf you just posted? You got to go to a junket and now you’re an expert? Great – let’s proceed:

Please explain how a freight hub benefits Canberra? Are we to become a truck stop on the way to Sydney? How does the money “stick” to Canberra – after all it’s all paid to the freight companies who are located elsewhere and all Canberra’s gets is:

1. worn out roads – tax payer cost
2. truck and aircraft pollution – tax payer cost
3. aircraft noise – tax payer cost
4. reduced property values from all of above – tax payer cost

Just exactly how does “Canberra business benefit” from a line of planes landing at 3am to transfer boxes to a line of trucks which takes it to Sydney? Please list examples exactly how this is going to happen (I’m sure it seemed very plausible after your tenth drink at your “networking function”).

I like how you don’t mention at all that noone in Canberra has had any say as to whether we want a line of freight planes landing 24×7 over our houses.

Roguelette Roguelette 10:36 am 20 Nov 09

I live in Jerrabomberra and for the most part don’t notice the noise of the planes – what I do notice these days is the noise of the traffice as the infrastructure has not kept up with the amount of development that has taken place.

It is already a nightmare just to get out of jerrabomberra at peak hour in the morning an then joining onto the monaro is just as bad – and noting Ken’s comment that Shepard st potentially will not be connected leaves me to wonder how all these new residents will be entering and leaving this new suburb?

Jazz Jazz 10:21 am 20 Nov 09

I was fortunate enough to see the Snow’s plans for the airport at a networking function last night and i’ve got to say that they are impressive, not just as a commercial opportunity for the Snow’s family business, but also to the commercial opportunities in what those plans represent to canberra as a whole (particuarly for SME’s in the Canberra region and the flow on effects from there)

IMO a pretty simple equation in VBC’s proposal
1. Place airport in the middle of nowhere.
2. Put freight or passenger traffic through Airport and inevitiably business pop up around it to take advantage of commercial opportunities it presents.
3. Whole city and region start to benefit
4. People who dont want to travel far to work in those businesses move to a reszoned residential area nearby (what VBC are proposing to capitalise on)
5. Developer gives initial concerned buyers some measure of assurance that noise wont be a problem
6. People moving in there find that it is (particularly overnight freight when there is bugger all ambient noise to cover it up). Noting that those people may not have had anything to do with the developer at all in subsequent housing turnover.
7. Said people complain to minister and either shut airport down or impose curfew (In all seriousness, in an important marginal seat politically, it makes absolutely no difference whether the noise actually meets any standards whatsoever)
8. Airport traffic suffers as a result
9. Business suffers due to reduced traffic going through transport hub and start to close
10. People move away & property price falls
11. Developer finds new transport hub to capitalise on as they’ve already cashed in on this one.

Of course VBC wants this to be rezoned to residential. Their approx $7,000,000 speculative investment becomes a potential winfall of around $800,000,000 (est 2000 blocks x $400k house & land package build). If rezoning to Commercial you could prob drop one of the zero’s off what the land is worth, and strangely enough, yet another to make keep it rural (which is what VBC paid for it)

Canberra benefits hugely by maintaining its curfew free airport status as it means we pick up heaps of freight and passenger traffic that cant go into Sydney. That can only be a good thing for Canberra/Queanbeyan’s long term growth. Is it worth the risk?

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:40 am 20 Nov 09

Dave0 said :

Tralee – go for it, I suspect it will sell like ice blocks on a hot summer day. Close to main road transport, 15 minutes from the city and close the employment zones.

Ha! And like ice blocks on a hot day, they’ll be left with nothing but a sticky mess.

deezagood deezagood 9:09 am 20 Nov 09

Thanks for taking the time to address these posts Ken ; you are doing a great job in the PR Tralee stakes. I appreciate many of the counter-arguments detailed here, but am also glad that locals will have another more affordable house/land purchasing option in Tralee.

Anna Key Anna Key 8:07 am 20 Nov 09

Mr Evil said :

I wish the RAAF would permanently base 12 of their new F/A-18Fs at Canberra – then you’ll find out what real jet noise sounds like people……….. 🙂

The Bulgarian president’s plane a couple of weeks ago would take some beating. One of those old Soviet jets and it was loud!

Dave0 Dave0 6:59 am 20 Nov 09

If Tralee has a noise problem, pity help Gungahlin and north Canberra residents. The people I feel sorry for are those new places along the Kingston foreshore, less than 2 km from the airport and nothing but an expanse of shallow lake water to block aircraft noise. On a quite winters night and freight aircraft taking off late at night, GOOD LUCK with that.

Dave0 Dave0 11:53 pm 19 Nov 09

Snow Corp. complains loud and long about everything, I’m over it, they object about everything that they don’t directly control and benefit financially from. From the DFO in Fyshwick, to developments throughout the city and the Tralee development 12 km away from the airport.

I was so curious about what the fuss was all about, a month or so ago, I went with a friend out to Tralee, we stood, outside of my car, I spend a few hours their just talking & chatting, in total we spent over 2 hours, it was surprisingly quiet, yes we could see the aircraft, we watch over 6 aircraft fly in the general vicinity, a few arriving and another few leaving Canberra Airport, in truth, a car diving down my street makes more noise than those aircraft out their.

The entire thing is a beat up by the airport.

As for noise complaints people in Canberra complain now, check out what Hacket people put up with, they started Curfew4Canberra, give that website a Google.

So why does the Airport want to stop Tralee, it’s not about looking after your best interest or that of any future residents I suspect. It about them making even more money. Canberra Airport development is so out of control it’s ridiculous and we will be paying for it.

As for the Tralee development, I did some further inquires, and found out that it is outside the noise predictions that the Airport itself drew up. The Airport drew the lines on the map, after they forecast that the Canberra Airport would have more aircraft traffic than Gatewick or Sydney in the year 2050, one movement every 2 minutes, and aircraft would remain as noisy as the oldest fleets allowed to fly today. Tralee is still outside of that, it is still within normal national planning standards.

I tell you, the entire thing is a beat up by the airport.

And before some says it, no I have no financial connection to Village Building, nor do I work for or do I contract to the developers or any other developer or builders.

Tralee – go for it, I suspect it will sell like ice blocks on a hot summer day. Close to main road transport, 15 minutes from the city and close the employment zones.

Ken Ineson Ken Ineson 9:54 pm 19 Nov 09

Anyone who wants to inspect the site at 8 am next Thursday 26th November, please confirm by sending me a text message on 0404 891141.
Meet at the end of Alderson Place in Hume

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