3 February 2022

'Unbearable' noise drives Gungahlin residents inside or away from the area: Opposition

| Lottie Twyford
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Gungahlin sign

Residents near Horse Park Drive say the noise from trucks is unbearable. Photo: Google Maps.

Gungahlin residents who live near Horse Park Drive and surrounds are being driven to barricade themselves in their homes or leave the area entirely because of construction and related truck noise, the Opposition claims.

According to one unnamed resident, they and their family have spent the summer cooped up inside “with our doors and windows closed because we have large trucks hauling excavation materials rumbling past every 45 seconds”.

The resident described the situation as unbearable.

“There are lots of angry and distressed people out here in Gungahlin. We have got to the point where we are so affected by the noise we are having real estate agents appraise our beloved home of many years with a view to selling it,” they said.

Gungahlin Community Council president Peter Elford said he is aware of a noise issue in the Amaroo area, particularly for people whose houses back onto Horse Park Drive, but isn’t sure how widespread it is.

Mr Elford said he’s also heard some of these residents had contacted Minister for Transport Chris Steel about the problem and “had not been satisfied with the outcome”.

“We, the Gungahlin Community Council, wrote to the ACT Government last October to try to establish a regular meeting to discuss a whole range of issues [relating to transport, roads and city services] in Gungahlin,” he said.

They’ve yet to get a response.

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But Mr Elford said it isn’t an issue the GCC is overly-focused on, and they haven’t sought to establish an active campaign about it, for example.

“We might get an occasional comment about it, but we haven’t specifically addressed anything to the Minister or the Directorate,” he explained.

Mr Elford also noted noise complaints – about construction noise and roads – do crop up occasionally, but the GCC doesn’t yet hold a particular position about what’s to be done about it.

Likewise, Mr Elford said noise profiles, particularly in the growing region, can change over time.

“When people first move into the suburb, their property might back onto a road which is a single lane – five or ten years later that’s a dual carriageway.

“I guess that’s one of the consequences of being in a new development area,” he noted.

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Nevertheless, the noise problem has been pounced upon by Liberal MLA for Yerrabi Leanne Castley who is calling on the ACT Government to review its noise environment policy.

“No one should have to put up with this constant noise and the Minister must review noise control and time restrictions for these large construction vehicles,” Ms Castley said.

“The constant noise from the ‘truck and dog’ style trailers has driven some residents to quit the area while others have complained about being barricaded in their homes over summer with doors and windows shut to reduce the noise.”

Ms Castley claims the issue affects hundreds of residents who live near Horse Park Drive, Mulligans Flat Road, Gundaroo Drive, Well Station Drive, Gozzard Street and Anthony Rolfe Avenue.

She’s also said the government has proven itself unwilling to engage with concerned residents and alleges one local received a response to a complaint last year which read, “noise levels experienced from Horse Park Drive are below the thresholds set out in the ACT Government’s Noise Management Guidelines”.

According to a spokesperson for the government, a noise survey was carried out in May 2021 on Buckingham Street in Amaroo to measure road noise from Horse Park Drive after residents requested it.

“The results of both surveys indicated that noise levels are below the threshold set out in the ACT Government’s Noise Guidelines,” the spokesperson said. Copies of the reports were provided to residents.

Furthermore, the government says noise from vehicles being driven on public roads is exempt from noise guidelines under environmental protection regulations.

The spokesperson said any residents concerned with road noise in the ACT should contact Transport Canberra and City Services Fix My Street.

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This particular situation will improve when the construction dies down in nearby suburbs. Elsewhere in and across Canberra, and suburban Australia, there are problems with noise and smoke pollution from large trucks. You only need one at 4:00 in the morning to wake up most of the residents in several suburbs. Most trucks are driven by employees or contractors of construction or supply companies not the government. We need these people to deliver more housing and supplies, so the solution is not to stop them as we’ll grind to a halt.

What we need is electric trucks, so much quieter and no smoke pollution. Of course the Federal Liberal/National party have delayed us at least a decade moving towards this with their complete nonsense about whopping great big new taxes… If you want to complain, direct it to those preventing progress in the Lib/Nat coalition. The truck noise pollution problem is only a small element of the problems caused by greed for power over the use of fossil fuels. Coal, gas, and oil still generate huge private sector profits; the demonstrated objective of the Lib/Nat coalition, not concern or services for citizens.

In the interim the best you can do it limit hours of operation.

ChrisinTurner3:08 pm 05 Feb 22

It is not just in the suburbs. This year during the periods that Summernats was operating in Braddon we had street-racing by extremely loud vehicles in residential Cooyong Street. The police said they didn’t have the resources to stop this. Noise pollution is becoming a major problem.

So ChrisinTurner Summernats, loud vehicles in residential streets and noise pollution are exclusive to the ACT and Braddon! And it’s all the government’s fault? I live in Braddon and hear extremely loud vehicles in residential Braddon all day every day. It’s part of the vibrancy of living in Braddon. Haven’t seen any houses along Cooyong Street though just high rise buildings as you would expect to find in the central business district of any big city on a major thoroughfare. Summernats isn’t going anywhere. Stop being miserable!!

“part of the vibrancy of living in Braddon” really? You like the parade of motorcycles and cars with their back firing, thumping sounds, and burnouts? Maybe you like this but a lot of people would rather have peace and quiet. On January 8th 2022 a horde of vehicles descended on Braddon doing blockies and swamping the area with booming sounds. The police did not do anything about it. A swarm of people were in Haig park acting like it was a country fair. This happens to Braddon every year. A bunch of hoons drive around up to 1am getting their rocks off. I’d like not to be miserable, but the only way to do so is to leave the area and hope these wankers don’t swarm elsewhere.

So, you bought a house without realising it backed onto a major road, now you’re upset when there’s traffic noise?! So now it’s the government’s problem to fix your inability to look at what was around the place you were buying. It’s just all those fools who bought apartments right next to the Belconnen bus depot, then complained when they were woken to the sounds of buses starting up in the morning – again, it was the government’s problem to fix it. And the NIMBYs who set up cafés on Anketell St which was the main route in/out of the bus interchange, then had the audacity to complain that buses were driving past. If they wanted a nice atmosphere, why didn’t they set up their café at the edge of the nearby lake?

We moved away for exactly those reasons. Noise and bad traffic that keeps getting worse.
I still dread everytime I have to drive there.
I sympathise with the residents, moving out will be the best thing you’ll ever do.

I’m moving somewhere quieter, with no development. Like Queensland.

RiotACT covered this issue 12 months ago too, so the regime have had plenty of time to respond with more than just brush-off hand movements.

And for those trolls on here who think this story is about nothing more than whingers and NIMBYS… before you put your insults on here, come out and stand on the corner of Horse Park Drive and Francis Forde Boulevard, at the traffic lights, for just 15-30 minutes, and see for yourself.
You’ll soon agree, this should not be happening in a civilised country, in the “cool-little Capital”, in 2022, with a holier-than-thou, woke, Government dictated to by a Greens party. These truck are the antithesis of sustainable.
But, the ACT Government is, after all, all smoke and mirrors. The Braddon / Ainslie / Dickson set wouldn’t know this is happening out here and would choke on their tempeh or kombucha if it happened in their neck of the woods.

“The Braddon / Ainslie / Dickson set wouldn’t know this is happening out here and would choke on their tempeh or kombucha if it happened in their neck of the woods”. That sounds like a whingeing, Nimby insult to me.

Except the noise studies have shown that the noise is within acceptable limits which have been well defined and in place for a long time.

If the noise isn’t within acceptable limits then you’ve got an open amd shut case that the government should put in additional controls.

I agree BM, developers and construction companies are greedy and causing untold destruction and environmental damage to land and roads in NSW dumping thousands of tonnes of fill to avoid the high cost of disposal in the ACT. But why shouldn’t the ACT government charge them high rates? Do you expect the govt to give them a free ride and taxpayers carry the financial costs of disposing the rubbish? What is NSW doing? They have been dragging their feet on this issue, particularly Yass Shire Council. What is the NSW govt doing? What about the local members? I think the dumping takes in the electorates of Cootamundra and Monaro. The Yass Shire Council is only now, and after significant community anger considering introducing a haulage levy charge. And so they should together with other penalties.

“Woke”! *drink*

Capital Retro7:02 pm 03 Feb 22

What you vote for is what you get.

Yes I dont know why they are complaining, they have the Rattenberry railway the wonder of the industrial world, built specifically for Gungahlin residents. Ask the shop owners how they fared whilst this folly was being built.

Ask the shop keepers how they feel now with all the extra passing trade they get now it’s complete.

What exactly do these people expect? You buy somewhere where there are more suburbs planned beyond of course there will be noise and dust when those suburbs get built.

Just like the residents of Nicholas and Palmerston and Ngunnawal would have put up with when Amaroo was built.

It’s Leanne Castley again looking for another non-issue to blame on the ACT Government!! If an opposition member in the NSW government wrote to the NSW Roads Minister complaining about the noise levels to residents on Sydney roads they would be laughed out of Macquarie Street! Toughen up Princess!!

Firstly, the truck issue is absolutely nothing at all to do with the new suburbs being built. The large truck-and-dog trailers roaring through eastern Gungahlin suburbs are carrying excavation material from high rise developments and Government road works in Civic, Belconnen and beyond and dumping it out in Sutton. I know, I’ve followed the trucks. The trucks servicing new development are expected and are not a problem. Greedy developers saving money by avoiding a desperate, cash-strapped Government’s fees by using nasty big trucks to dump their crap in NSW is not tolerable.
Secondly, it’s not ‘toughen up princess’. That’s just plain insulting to poor, suffering, decent people living in what used to be pleasant suburban areas. Having the rules changed to allow loud trucks, using compression brakes and belching out diesel fumes, passing your house every 90 seconds for 10-12 hours a day six (some times seven) days a week is too much for anyone to endure and entirely unjust, so cut the insults people. During the Christmas-New Year break, the only days big trucks weren’t roaring past were Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Every other day, including public holidays, we had to listen to damn trucks. Have some empathy. It is a disgrace anyone should be subjected to such noise for such an extended period.
Thirdly, it is impossible to complain about truck noise using Fix My Street. You have no alternative but to call Access Canberra, but then you are completely fobbed off and sent down multiple rabbit holes.
Unfortunately, we are one of those families who have given up, as our lovely home has become a noisy hell. We have our house on the market and are moving to Queensland.
Good luck Canberra, with the Government you have, you’re going to need it.

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you and probably all the rest complaining here all voted Labor back in again last election. The Northside has kept this joke of a government in for far too long and has only itself to blame for the government becoming dictatorious due to it’s belief that it will never lose it’s grip on government. You lot did that, you lot can reap it.

BM the rules have not changed. Nor does the simple fact that presumably you but certainly those complaining live next to a 4 lane main road.

Regardless of the politics of why those trucks are allegedly on that road, it doesn’t change the fact they are on a main road going about the business. That’s what roads are for.

Also living in the area myself, a truck carrying rubble to Sutton every 45 seconds is a load of bulldust.

Maybe I’m just really lucky that in the 8-10 times a week I drive along Mulligan’s Flat Rd I’ve never seen a truck (B-double or otherwise).

Capital Retro3:13 pm 04 Feb 22

Better go to Specsavers, Heavs.

Heavs I’m with you on that. I’ve never seen any loaded dirt trucks turning up mulligans flat road either, let alone one every 45 seconds. And it makes zero sense for a truck coming from anywhere but Gungahlin town centre to go up mulligans flat road to Sutton. And if they are coming from the town centre then it’s the most direct route anyway.

From anywhere else in town including Belconnen the would Federal Highway is a faster and better route.

If we accept your lower figure of 10hours a day, you are claiming 640 trucks a day generated by Civic , Belconnen and beyond development…

I agree, whenever I think about good government and a place with minimal development, I think Queensland.

Back to school for me… 400 trucks!

Yep, that’s exactly what I am claiming. You haven’t witnessed it first hand. We all have. We’ve had MLAs come out and witness it. Lots of promises were made, but nothing has been done.

Are you kidding?
From July to November, in particular, Mulligans Flat Road and Tallagandra Lane were nothing but truck ways! I have hours of video footage of the trucks.
Ask the residents out there who bombarded Yass Valley Council with complaints.
Ask YVC’s enforcement officer who was battling the issue for months.
Have a look at the repairs that had to be carried out to the road over the last fortnight, largely caused by the trucks.
Ask the construction company, whose trucks emblazoned with the company’s logo, we’re ferrying excavation materials out to the company director’s property out there.

Yes, the rules (ie, the designation of Horse Park Drive and noise limits) were changed, without any consultation in 2018.

The actual roadway of Horse Park Drive doesn’t set the noise limit, they are set at the boundary of the residential properties and have not changed.

They are also identical for these types of residential areas across Canberra.

So firstly point out how you think they were changed and then point out why you think your area should have lower noise limits than the rest of Canberra.

Thehutch could also be 800 trucks. As per the article one unnamed resident said there is a truck every 45 seconds. Another every 90.

But regardless it is an arterial road so not sure where these residents want these trucks to go or government to do about it. Assuming it as bad as they say, which I seriously doubt.

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