1 December 2005

Dragway for Majura Valley

| seepi
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The proposed Dragway for block 51 behind Mt Majura is causing consternation amongst Hackett and nearby residents, and excitement in the motor racing crowd. The dragway was an election promise by Labor, but they have been unable to find a suitable site. So in desperation they have settled on Majura Valley. This site, within 3km of houses, will apparently be the only dragway in the world to be within 3km of residential areas. It does seema bit unfortunate to set up such a major project for protests about noise and the hours it operates etc, even before it is built…Canberra residents in the neighbouring suburbs are very upset, and anyone who likes to walk/run/ride on Mt Majura can kiss the tranquility goodbye. There are also issues about heritage buldings + wildlife.

Last night a packed public meeting was held at the legislative assembly. Bizarrely the meeting was held in a small room, meaning many had to stand and further crowds hung around the doorway. Some motorsport fans stayed outside with their cars and beers. It was stifling inside, and that was before Simon Corbell started speaking.

Simon spoke, and sat on the fence as usual, stating that while we must listen to residents, we must also support the needs of the dragway fans. No clues there.

Bill Stefaniak then spoke and he stated that Hackett residents would only hear noise to the level of a car going past your window, for 12 minutes a year. He also stated that the noise would be easily drowned out by a magpie warbling. He presented no actual evidence for these theories.

Deb Foskey then spoke, and mentioned that fossil fuels are old fashioned, and that Majura Road is already hard to turn onto for local residents. She stated that she had not got elected by promising a dragway. She also went into costs of a dragway (which are not fully budgetted for by the government) , and associated costs for improving the roads giving access to it.

So what is the truth of the matter. Will Hackett residents hear a constant drone of engines all weekend every weekend, or not? And is there any way to test this before the dragway is decided upon? Can’t they go out to the site and make similar noise, and prove to local residents that this will not be a permanent end to the use of backyards in Hackett on weekends? Also – isn’t there a speedway at Queanbeyan? Do we really need another one in the ACT?

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Build the damn dragway – for the revheads…charge a noise pollution tax – for the nimbys.

I lived in Watson several years ago. Couldn’t even get near the shops or out of the suburb from the Summernats crowd that decends on there each year.

Noise was a pain in the arse but it was only for a few days.

My only complaint was about the drunken fuckwits who thought it would be fun to do the same outside of NATEX (I hate the new “EPIC” name).

Then again, the Govt won’t build it. Don’t people know that pollies always lie to the people to get their votes?

Regarding the 3km from residences thing. The old dragway, at the airport, was a hell of a lot closer than 3km to residences! The residents of Pialligo had the delightful experience of the dragway at all hours of the day and night. When they revved, all conversation had to stop, it was that loud. Also you had people camping out there, often the Harley Davidson crowd, and they would be riding their bikes (know how loud they are?!) up and down Pialligo Ave all night. It was shocking.
The dragway should not be built anywhere near where people live, the noise is hellish.

Cant race on a drag strip,
guess I will have to race on the street!

As for “the arts are long seen as a contributer to our culture, I don’t think the same has been or ever will be said of cars.”, I would think that the cars at summernats would be considered art” (I SAID IT!). What about all the buisiness and that is created from car fanatics? I personally think this brings a lot to the community.

2.5 hours is a long time for families to travel to see the drags then travel 2.5 hours back, all for a night out with the family.

Couldn’t care less what they build near my place. I’m all for more development and have been at a loss to explain why Canberra has been bloating outwards (Gunghalin – Tuggeranong) for so long when there’s so much free space in the city, in older suburbs that could be used.

I was just trying to point out the astonishing rate of change in these suburbs – which is quite different to the rest of Canberra. Other suburbs (like Pearce for instance) haven’t really changed in 15 years. It is very easy to criticise when it isn’t happening to you.
(Red Hill were actually pretty keen to get rid of Quamby, and campaigned against a bigger version going up on the current site.)
I bet you wouldn’t want a six storey building built opposite your house and staring into your backyard,in a tiny street already too small for street parking.
If the dragway is not gong to be intrusively noisy, then why are the government keeping their expert noise report a secret? IF someone can prove to me that it won’t be overly noisy I will feel much better. I mean real proof, not wild statements about magpies and doorbells.

Midnitecalla – the 300C is absolutely a beauty. Shame about the price tag… I’ll just have to keep cruising around in the VF.

As for Quamby in Watson – the good people of Narrabundah/Red Hill put up with it without any problems…

But the dragway has the potential to significantly disturb us all weekend every weekend.


I’m sure the 6 storey old folks home is going to ruin your life. Build a bridge.

Thumper, the northside dragway is called Gininderra Drive…

I live in Gungahlin, and would gladly welcome a dragway in our unproductive grass paddocks.

Slinky the Shocker10:00 am 06 Dec 05

Hey,Ralph, where do you live? Why don’t you want a f*&^n dragway next to your suburb?
I think the real NIMBYs are the ones who want the damn thing, but somewhere else. I personally love Hackett, because I ride the old MTB or run around the ridge there or just hop up with a couple of mates to have beers and enjoy the sunset. Preferably without dragway noise.
I think there should be a poll which side of town wants the dragway the most and they can have it! Now if that’s North Canberra, I call it democracy and give up.

Somebody get the violins out. Obviously Seepi has made in abundantly clear how though life is for those in Watson/Hackett/Ainslie. Twits.

The rate of channge in these inner north suburbs is far greater than anyone else. And anyone who’s been through a workplace reshuffle will know that people react badly to endless change. Especially when they percieve their lives getting worse and worse. REsidents of Ainslie/Hackett / Watson are copping it from all sides. We get Summernats, the new Quamby, the 6 storey old folks home, endless developments soaking up all the parking. These suburbs are changing into something different year by year, and people are a bit sick of it. The dragway is the last straw. From our perspective the govt wants to put everything in our backyards. And we dont’ complain about all of it. Since Summernats has been cleaned up residents let it be. Noone has complained about Quamby in Watson. But the dragway has the potential to significantly disturb us all weekend every weekend.
And if you think we are complainers – what about the residents of yerrabi, who are complaining about a scout hut being built. I’ll swap them the scout hut for the dragway any day!

midnitecalla9:27 pm 05 Dec 05

ok thumper where is this “gin joint” and where can i sign up?

midnitecalla9:03 pm 05 Dec 05

its those cardigans ( and those who wear shoes with out socks who are upper class bogans)who always think that that they are the cultural suave center of residences . and hate any thing that dosnt involve the current price of realestate as an activity. the Dragway is a threat to thier sanity and pocketbooks. How about we ban the Arts or model railroad exhibitions ? just think if that were to happen you would see lake burley griffin part and the bogong ranges move to put the events back on the table! there is a “class” in canberra who are dead set against motor racing lest we degenerate back in to the pool of normalcy relavant in other cities,

thus tarnishing that image of a serene but boring and “safe” Capital city where the Snobs rule .

Also el im a chrysler man as well, and think the 300 c is a gem. ( still have my old mans E55 RT )

Yeah ditto what Kramer and Bonfire said. I wouldn’t classify myself as a “bogan”, don’t generally wear black t-shirts, thongs, wife-beaters and tend to drink very little alcohol (not beer generally).

The only motorsport I give two shits about is drag racing (couldn’t care less about F1, bikes, and very little interest in Ford/Holden touring cars, (I’m a Chrysler man, dammit))

As far as noise goes, for weekend off-street drags (usually road-registerd cars) you wouldn’t hear anything. I can’t imagine Canberra getting more than 3-4 annual events involving top fuel cars. As far as noise goes for that, you *might just* hear it (remembering there’s a frigging big hill in the way), for the 4-5 seconds of each run at full noise.

What is it about Ainslie/Hackett/Watson that brings out the NIMBY brigade in such numbers, anyway?

Here is some stuff off the brochure canberra motorsport supporters group handed out at the do about the dragway at the LA last week:
* The dragway will be excavated 5m into the ground blah blah same features as tracks in sydney and perth but the majura site will be 2.1kms (more than double the distance) further away from the closest street than the sites in sydney and perth
* Noise testing results 3.7km from the sydney site (3.7km is the distance between proposed site and hackett) shows that the noise from the loudest events, top fuel dragsters, is quieter than carhorns, garbage trucks, doorbells, phones ringing and toilets flushing and only slightly higher than road traffic noise. This level of noise will only be made for approximately 5 seconds per race, and the top fuel dragsters are only allowed to compete a maximum of 3 days a year.
* Since 1978 there has not been a noise complaint lodged with the management or ACT government regarding motor racing events. The old facility had less noise mitigating factors than the new one will have and was less than half the distance from Campbell as the new facility will be from Hackett.

Seepi Im not sure where you have the bit about it being the only dragway in the world to be less than 3km from houses…

Pooh pooh to your dragway. Now I don’t live in Canberra any more so you can hardly call me a NIMBY on this. But I certainly don’t want that nasty racket disturbing me when I fly in to visit family and am having a quiet macchiato in Ainslie.

If you like tinkering with mechanicals and engines, eh, what’s so wrong with model trains?

kramer makes a valid point. people who only know me through work are stunned when they see what i drive and what i spanner together out of hours.

sterotypes are dangerous. except when used to persecute bogans and greenies.

Seepi – you are a NIMBY!

You obviously are not aware that the airport is located in the Majura valley, and planes (Yes, planes!) fly down the valley making a shed load of noise. I ride out at Majura pines very regularly and I have no problem with the noise of the planes, or the prospect of a dragway being built and used out there.

People are always painting drag racing fans as the VB guzzling, stubby wearing, mullet sporting, ford/holden drivers – whereas this is only a selection of the crowd. Many drag racing enthusiasts are highly intelligent people with excellent mechanical and engineering skills, who operate highly complex and technical cars – and many of these cars are not old aussie V8s.

Stop being the soot on the sparkplug of the Canberra Dragway campain.

Hear hear Marco, I’d just been thinking along similar lines (in regards to this userpays mentality) – it seems that every other topic on this board has someone ranting about the way their tax money is spent on something they don’t like or don’t use. Get a life people, the proportion of money that comes from your personal contribution on any of these things is going to be marginal at best and the ROI that you get will always outstrip what you put in. (Even when the federal gov’t underspends your tax money by 10-12 billion dollars a year).

This is the biggest nimby attitude of all. Perhaps more numbi (not using my bloody income)

As for the dragway, meh, there are better and worse things to spend the money on and I guess car culture is a pretty Oz thing (better than having a gun culture at least).

Oh, and what musicmonster said makes a lot of sense.

Air racing – Hell Yeah!! Canberra should be campaigning to get a leg of the Red Bull Air Race staged here. That would be incredible!!!!

musicmonster10:09 am 02 Dec 05

I have to say it is very interesting to read both sides of the argument with regards to the ACT Drag way proposal.

First of all there is no point, and nothing is solved, by having a name calling/slinging match between “rev heads” and “greenies”. Nothing progresses by making the matter personal and the only way forward is to form some type of compromise that can satisfy both parties at least to some extent, as it is naïve to assume that everyone will be completely happy.

It can’t be ignored that illegal drag racing is a problem both in Canberra as well as every other major city in Australia (and probably a lot of the western world for that matter), and it appears that the driving skill level of young people is getting worse, not better, as a result of a growing attitude that driving is a god given right not a privilege. It is a proven fact that running “get racing off the streets” nights at proper drag ways centres DOES decrease illegal drag racing, and even more so when the local police are actively involved in running the events such as in other states. As a result this DOES save the lives of both the people involved in the illegal racing and the innocent bystanders.

It also can’t be ignored that Canberra tourism is suffering of recent years because Canberra is seen as a “boring” destination by both national and international visitors. Time and time again Canberra either pushes away or is passed over by big events, and this includes big international government and business conferences, not just sporting or cultural events. As such we should be actively trying to get new activities into Canberra, regardless of what they are.

On the other side you can understand why people would be uneasy as to the idea of having a drag way “next door” to their home, anyone would have concerns about this regardless of whether they are motor sport fans or not. The residents of the areas concerned need to be given a REAL indication of what it would be like to live with the drag way. Maybe some motoring groups or clubs could run some static drag racings at the proposed location to give a true indication as to what the noise levels will be like.

The point is that lots of different people live in this city, and we need to try and cater for as MANY different interests as possible, not limit them.

Absent Diane8:45 am 02 Dec 05

I must admit.. although I find dragracing boring… the engineering behind them is awesome..

Drag racing is for pussies: real men watch Air racing. Around the central basin of the lake would be good, and there’s no need to spend heaps of money setting it up as there are already pylons at one end of the circuit on Commonwealth Bridge! The sound of 20 Rolls Royce Merlins pumping out 1650HP each at 50 ft above the lake would be awesome, although the latte drinkers in Civic might not like it too much.

The problem with putting the dragway “near a small town” is that it makes it harder for the hobby drivers to get there and back. There is also the issue of breakage – it doesn’t happen alot, however if you go to the drags and don’t atleast think about how you might handle it you are a fool. Canberra being a reasonable size means that a large body of hobbiests know if it all goes pear shaped arranging a tow/trailer home won’t be too hard. And for out of towners it would be a tow to your most local dealer anyhow, and a fair chance you have a friend in town you can stay with. Even the suggested Goulbourn options suffers in this way.

I think it was the Canberra weather that shut down the V8 race, more than any protests. You can’t attract out of area tourists to an outdoor event in the middle of Winter.
I’d put the dragway near one of those small towns that is going broke and needs visitors – say Captain’s Flat?

The argument that “I have no interest in using a dragway, therefore why should I pay for it” is much the same as me saying for example that I don’t like footy and therefore would object to any money being spent on Canberra Stadium, or that I don’t watch the Olympics therefore I don’t want my tax dollars spent on the AIS, or indeed as others have pointed out, I don’t have anything to do with the arts therefore it shouldn’t be funded. If we take that line of argument to its logical conclusion then nobody should ever pay for anything they never use, so we might as well pack up the tax system and shift to user pays for everything immediately.

Canberra is unique among major cities in Australia these days in that it has basically no form of permanent motorsport facility along these lines.

As far as noise goes, by and large most of the time the types of cars you will find at the dragway will be modified Commodores, Skylines, WRXs and the like. There would be very, very few of the noisier top fuellers, funny cars and that sort of thing because there aren’t many of those cars around in the first place.

Drag racing these days is primarily a hobby of people who want to take their modified street car out for a run – and would be particularly true of a place like Canberra.

Frankly, given that the airport is so close and aircraft are so much noisier (and more often) I don’t see what all the fuss is about. A few too many people around the place seem to enjoy complaining about anything they can find to complain about, in my humble opinion.

Having said that – if it can’t go in the Majura Valley, can anyone think of an alternative site?

Vic Bitterman8:26 pm 01 Dec 05

Maeliner is speaking for me, word for word.

Bring on the dragway.

Get some culture for the common man going, not for the chardonnary caffe latte black turtleneck sweater lesso commo pinko faggot types.

midnitecalla8:18 pm 01 Dec 05

Cars are indicative of culture and have been rendered in all forms of art whether on the front of album covers in the music world to immortalised in the print and canvas world, Just bands , as iconic as the model T was to my grand father the 57 Chevy Belair/ two ten series is to myself to the current Jap exotica is to the kids who came after me. so you cannot sit there and say that cars are not art/ indicative of culture.

Why should i Pay for the So called ARTS communities excess if i cannot have the same “artistic expression” with my passion which is motor sport? the Art Dole Bludgers community has Khiboshed the V8 race , wants to kill the summer nats, aand have us all ride pushies?and expect my part of the Community to just shut up and accept it? stop fooling your selves.

and before ANY body starts moaning about the environment todays cars go further on a tank and get more usable power than before all due to motor racing. whether is an 8 or 6 or 4 the Comfort and swiftness and safty features cars of today are owing to the research of yester year most of it done on dragways and road racing.

The ACT has engineered into it 3 road racing circuits as part of the John overall /NCDC plan but the one chosen happened to be the one that was doomed to fail. these are gazetted and last on record at the Library of the CCAE( CAN UNI)Along with the space provided with a monorail system clarly marked out on the models used in prjecting the roads and infrastructure.

so those who say The ACT isnt for road racing better do thier homework cos its no accident we have such long straight connections to the city and wide curves .IT WAS PLANNED YOU PIKERS.

As for Stumping up i Would but we had a good dragway out near the Aport / we had a good speedway out near Tralee we had a fighting chance with a V8 Race . Which i Paid Good money to see and will again,but all shut down by the marshmallows that we all hate! but i want my Govt to Shell out and Ignore the Caffe Latte movement for once.

Don’t fucking NIMBY call me! I’m all for things like this…no argument from me AT ALL. I too am sad that the V8 race never got a real chance…I thought it was fantastic.

My only question is why I have to pay for someones dragway? What the hell does it have to do with me? I have no interest in it. The people who want it should put their fucking money where their whining fing mouths are & cough up themselves…just like anyone else would have to do to support their own hobbies. Like I do. I’ve never recevied arts funding, don’t assume things you don’t know. Yes…I HAVE had a bad day. 🙂

One of the main concerns of us nimbys is the secrecy around the dragway proposal. The government were first planning to use block 52 behind Mt Majura for the dragway. They had noise studies done, which proved that this block was unsuitasble under Federal Govt noise guidelines. So they are now investigating block 51, which is apparently the only option they have left. But it is right next to block 52 – just as close to houses etc. So why do they think it will be any different? Only this time they are not publically releasing their noise study results. Why not?? they have said they may give them to their 4 community representatives (who have been told they are not allowed to consult with the community!). but if they do provide them to this claytons community quartet, they will not be allowed to tell anyone what is in the results.
Does this make sense to anyone else?
PS – I used to live in Watson, about as close to Summernats as you can get. It was really, really loud, and the washing got black rubber bits all over it on burnout day. But I didn’t mind cos it is only one weekend a year – each to their own. But this dragway is going to be every weekend – there is a big difference. And apparently these professional cars are a lot louder than summernats hotrods.

barking toad4:58 pm 01 Dec 05

Spitfire – if you don’t like the discussion then don’t read it! hahahahahahahahahahahaha – I kill me.

Actually, Kandy and the Ferrety one have made some good suggestions – bomb the nimbies etc

I want to get one of those bumper stickers “I Voted For A Dragway And I Vote!”

I’d just like to state that I don’t give a shit about this issue one way or the other. (Note: To the person who’s about to post saying “If you don’t like the discussion, don’t read it” – that’s not what I’m saying, I just want it to be known that I’m not part of any of the aforementioned groupings, such as the fucken cardigan wearing NIMBYs, the fucktard arts bludgers, or petrolheads.)

Growling Ferret4:36 pm 01 Dec 05

Ahh the stereotype of a V8 Supercar supporter.
Just like the stereotype of the arts degree holder – ‘Would you like Fries with that?’

Personally, I don’t think Canberra needs a dragway, as there is the best one in the Southern Hemisphere 2.5 hours up the road (a small amount of travel for a motorsport competitor or supporter), but if one is going to be build, it must be built:
a) to allow all forms of drag racing on a full quarter mile
b) with the capability to be used for driver training, motorkhana and other driving uses.
c) with multi purpose facilities, so it can become an outdoor entertainment venue for music festivals and other occasions
d) with the support (both financial and moral) of local and federal government

And then once its opened, cross your fingers when the big events are on and hope it doesn’t rain, or the promotor goes bankrupt ala Tralee Speedway…

What a bunch of fucken cardigan wearing NIMBYs. You people epitomise why the rest of the country hates Canberra.

oh, the enthralling sense of an argument…


Aussie Culture…

A VB holding, Monaro Driving, black T shirt with some kind of slogan on it. They’re a culture of their own…

And if a fucktard arts bludger can get funding for their bullshit, then so can everybody else in my books.

I’m no real petrolhead, but I miss the V8 car race – its abolishing proved that the ‘not in my backyards or anybody elses’ type of folk in this town hamper any efforts to showcase this place a real city…for those unaware of the great financial impact that motor vehicle related sports have for the economy, a quick check with tourism authorities will indicate the value of such activities.

Actually Maelinar…whilst I myself am a strong supporter of the arts (at least in the form of live music), I’m indifferent to public funding & could quote hundreds of instances where I think the public purse has been ripped off through poorly considered arts funding. That said…the arts are long seen as a contributer to our culture, I don’t think the same has been or ever will be said of cars. To the majority of people, they are simply a means of transport. I’d hate to see money go to a dragway that could perhaps have been better spent on public transport infrastructure for example.

Could they use the footsul, fooball or whatever that bloody useless slab is called? The one Kate laid at great expense.

hmmmm Justbands

Given that ‘artists’ want to receive money to fund their works of art, I can’t see how you come to the conclusion that a petrolhead shouldn’t be allowed the same access to facilities, as ‘expected’ for the arts community.

I haven’t followed your conversations too closely about whether or not you are pro or against arts funding, but reacted at your name only (and a dim recollection that you are pro).

As I said earlier, if that’s what gives these guys hardons, go let them do it.

I’ll be there to pick up their household goods at bargain prices because they’ve run out of money and need to sell off their chattels.

I STILL don’t understand how anyone can seriously expect a Government to fund their car hobby for them…election promise or not. Want a dragway? Find investors & go for it….on private land, with private funding.

the gummint conducted a noise study over teh last summernats period, in response to complaints from residents over many years.

the study conclusively proved that birds in your backyard caused more noise than summernats.

i think canberra residents just like to complain about things for the sake of it. they fear change and want everyone in bed by 9PM.

bring on the dragway. it woudl create far less noise than summernats, and with a range in between you would hear sfa from any of the suburbs where residents have already started to whinge.

Growling Ferret11:19 am 01 Dec 05

So long as all members of Save the Ridge, the Federal Liberal Party, Eddie Jones and George Gregan, anyone up in arms over the death sentance for the drug trafficer and anyone else that pisses me off is included in the group, it would be a thing of beauty!

growling ferret – within your inquiry lies a beautiful plan – why not combine the rifle range, dragway, police driver training, bombing range and airport – now I’d definitely watch that!! (on telly)

I say they build the bloody thing, and put a whole strip of petrol stations, tyre sales, bodywork shops etc all along the frontage.

If people are that stupid they want to watch their income reduced as simply as F goes to E, let them.

The dragway will be covered in weeds in a few years and they’ll question why they even built the bloody thing.

I thought Majura Valley was always thought to be the best site for a dragway if they couldn’t have it back where it used to be (or am I confused and the old one was also in Majura Valley?). Certainly that was the impression I had way back when when I talked to some politicans about it.

Growling Ferret9:37 am 01 Dec 05

I lived in Campbell many years ago, when the last major events ran at the old CID. You would only ever hear a drone from the drags when the Top Fuel/Alcohol/Doorslammers ran. Club level and road legal classes were not heard.

For Hackett residents, they will have the benefit of a mountain range in between them and the races which we never had in Campbell…

The airport, which provides noise 15 hours a day for 365 days a year is more intrusive…
Summernats would be more intrusive…

In reality, the new CID would probably run no more than 15 events a year + street drags which is far quieter. These events would last a day from lunchtime until 10pm – and you wouldn’t hear the drags over the aircraft taking off and landing…

Whatever happens, the new dragway will be a white elephant unless it also becomes part of an advanced driver training facility and gets use more than once or twice a month.

The question is, can anyone actually point out the site on Majura Lane where the proposed dragway will be – is it closer to the Airport or the rifle range? Is it on the site of the Police Driver training facility (hidden behind the pines). Is it next to the bombing range?

Absent Diane9:19 am 01 Dec 05

As someone who finds most motorsports completely boring(with the exception of the 500cc bikes and the jet sprint boats)…… My support would lean towards not bothering…. the mountain will stop the noise to an extent but im sure the sound will still reverberate off everything else and be heard…

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