Hidding open to highway noise barriers
meet philanthropists before formalising new partnerships with London’s Kings College and Freiburg University in Germany. RESIDENTS and Denison MP Andrew Wilkie are heartened that Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding will consider sound-absorbing barriers alongside the Southern Outlet in Hobart.
“The Government will of course consider the installation of sound-absorbing barriers if there is a strong case for them,” Mr Hidding said.
Simon Wright, a spokesman for a group calling itself Southern Outlet Noise Affected Residents, said it was encouraging that the minister would consider mitigation strategies.
“We would like to work with the Government on developing our case and the first step would be official noise measurement,” Dr Wright said.
Mr Wilkie said he was intrigued that the minister would consider barriers.
“I can assure the minister that there is a very strong case for doing so because the noise from traffic on the Outlet has become unbearable residents,” he said.
“I will continue to do what I can to make this case to him.
“It’s also relevant that the Environment Protection Authority have told me that they haven’t done any noise monitoring on the Outlet for over 10 years.
“I have written to the EPA again today asking that they conduct further monitoring because I have no doubt that it will prove the residents to be correct.
“I hold out hope that the Government will act to help these long-suffering residents, but the fact that they have not done so yet just proves that they have their heads in the sand and won’t listen to the community.” for local
Dr Wright said that sound barriers would not be a total solution because some houses were very close to the Outlet.
“Improvement to the glazing of houses would be relatively cheap and we would like to see reduction of noise at the source and assurance that vehicles are compliant with noise criteria,” he said.
Noise from heavy trucks was a particular concern.
Mr Hidding said the Government made no apology for the resurgence in the forest industry.
“We reject any attempts to single out drivers or an industry based on the type of freight they carry,” he said.
“For Mr Wilkie’s information, to date in 2017, roughly 83 per cent of all commercial traffic on this route has been small vehicles or passenger transport, and articulated and combination heavy vehicles have accounted for just 0.40 per cent of all traffic on the route in 2017.