The new pop-up shipping container village in New Acton opened over the weekend (yay!) with the Art, Not Apart festival to follow next weekend. The festival will include stalls selling street food and handicrafts, there’ll be live entertainment, fun and games on the basketball court, and a dance party. Sounds like good fun, right?
Not according to some.
The above image (originally posted to Reddit) is a flyer reportedly distributed by members of the Irate Residents of Acton group, which goes by the acronym IRA, to homes in the New Acton area. The flyer urges residents to complain to the government and festival organisers about noise levels.
The IRA even goes so far to say that Andrew Barr has a plan to reduce quality of life by raising city noise limits. Groan. Give me a break.
Even if these events are particularly noisy, the majority of properties in Acton are brand new and would surely block out most of the sound. I used to live in a new-ish (maybe about seven or eight years old) apartment right off the main drag in Gungahlin. It was noisy when I was out on the balcony, but as soon as I was inside and closed the door it was silent. Did not hear a thing.
If properties in Acton aren’t blessed with soundproofing, that’s unfortunate but um… YOU LIVE IN THE CITY. If you want peace and quiet, go live in Gundaroo.
This group also complained last year about a jazz festival in New Acton. They said that this kind of event was not okay in a residential area. In my opinion Acton isn’t as much a residential area as it is part of the city. What about all the events that are actually in residential areas that people learn to deal with? The residents of Watson put up with the noise of car burnouts at Summernats every summer, while the residents of Bruce seem to deal with the noise of concerts at the stadium without too much fuss.
Yes, noise is annoying. But the events the IRA is complaining about will not take place every night for the rest of eternity and they do not take place in the apartment next door. It astounds me that people move to the city and expect no public events or noise to disturb them. While our city is not comparable to Sydney or Melbourne, why should we have to be silenced at 8pm? People complain that Canberra is a boring city and that there’s not a lot to do – so our government puts on a fun event like this and people complain about the noise. Sheesh.
The IRA also took to Twitter to complain to Chief Minister Andrew Barr, saying that they will oppose the Westside dance party. Aside from ranting and raving on Twitter and writing emails, I’m not sure what powers its members have. They can complain on the night, they can even call the police if they want, but they’re not going to be able to have a whole event pulled down like they want.
Chief Minister Barr responded:
Aside from there being a pretty obvious difference between a dance party and a rave, the IRA is worried that they will become a permanent feature of Acton. Wow, maybe we’ll even become the rave capital of the world! That’s not such a bad idea, it would probably generate tons for the economy. Good suggestion, IRA!
Barr shot back:
I love it when a politician has a bit of sass.
Only a few more sleeps until the Westside dance party. In the meantime, I suggest the IRA take a road trip or invest in a pair of earplugs.