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To preserve and enhance the cultural environmental and social sustainability of the Tyagarah Area and its inhabitants

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RTA - lies, damn lies and deceptions

We believe that a government agency has no legitamate reason to lie to, or decieve the public or any individuals. There may very well be occasional reasons to keep something secret, but never to tell outright fibs, or make "non-core" promises it can't keep.

Here are a few from our experience in Tyagarah, we understand that the Ewingsdale Progress Association has a similar list.

Summary

Dodgy Noise Monitoring

  1. The RTA reported readings from the roof of Tony Baggio's house over an 8 day period, Tony responds ...
    " We wish to advise that the Noise Assessment Data sheet has readings for eight (8) consecutive days, this is quite impossible, as the meter on our roof was installed and then removed as the operator informed me that there was too much distortion noise in the meter, possibly from rain and he stated that the readings had to be discarded. The meter was later re-installed by the same operator for three days and picked up about 7.00 PM one evening, therefore, it seems now very strange that we have a Tuesday to Tuesday sequential unbroken date reading in the Noise Assessment Data sheet, a sequence that can only be possible if the sheet was filed in without the use of the noise meter readings. I supplied the operator with the ladder to install the meter so I was fully aware of his comings and goings during the noise testing". After Tony's follow up letter querying the lack of reply, Bob Cairnes of the RTA responded "I have recently been advised of the results of this examination adn a potnetial increase of 1db(A) in the preducted noise levels at your property is indicated. the predicted noise levels would then exceed the levels set in the RTA noise goals. Due to the predicted noise levels, and in accordance with RTA policy, I can now offer you some noise attenuation work on the bedrooms of your property." RTA->Baggio (page 1, page 2); Baggio -> RTA (page1, page 2); Baggio -> RTA; RTA -> Baggio
  2. Philip and Amanda Jeffree recieved a letter in Oct 2002 from the Minister of Transport & Roads stating: "The Minister has been advised that noise readings undertaken at Mr & Mrs Jeffree's house during April & May 2002 indicate that noise levels are below Environment Protection Authority Guidlines." Which is very strange since no readings have been taken on their property despite their repeated requests to the RTA. (Minister -> Jeffree; Jeffree -> Minister; Jeffree letter
  3. An example is a local woodturner Ken Staff who lives on Andersons Hill. He is very badly affected by noise and "Cant have conversation on verandah without shouting !" The RTA placed noise monitoring gear on far side of house away from road AND strategically located between two plant pot, and took the recordings after a holdiday period had ended. This is part of a pattern of trying to record biased measurements. They also put a dust monitoring device on the far side of the house. Ken Staff's Letter (Doc) Signed Tiff & Map
  4. Greg & Jenny Bishop have a story of the moniter being put out the back behind the shed,
  5. Debbie has heard numerous anecdotes of moniters being taken away because the readings were 'too loud' -

Broken Promises

  1. John Bailey in his Statutory Decleration states "I attended a meeting with the RTA and their consultants Kenhills at the Brunswick Heads Bowling Club on Sept 30th 1996" .. "Ken Oldfield of the RTA stated the new highway through Anderson Hill / Tandys Lane would be sealed with a new road surface designed to cut road noise by 50%" (Stat Dec)
  2. Debbie Sharp in her Statutory Decleration states: "In 1997 I had a meeting on my veranadah with some RTA representatives, I was told, that what I was hearing was tyre noise and that with the 'new' road surface this would be lessened." also "noise levels for my house uses data gathered collected from 19 Feb to 26 Feb 2002, six months before the opening of the Yelgun to Chinderah by-pass and the arrival of B-doubles." (Stat Dec )

Co-ercion

  1. As a condition of the RTA doing any remediation work, the RTA has been asking residents to sign a "Consent and Agreement" form, which includes "the Releasor Releases unconditionally and forever all claims and causes of action against the RTA in respect of any need for noise amelioration works" (Consent and Agreement) Some residents have found themselves forced to sign this since they haven't had a decent night's sleep since the highway upgrade's opening as the alternative could be years of law-suits.

Breaking their own Rules on Noise

The RTA is breaking its own rules, and those of the EPA in not dealing with the noise. Need scans of all documentes refered to below

  1. The RTA’s documents state that when upgrading an existing road, the aim is not increase noise by anymore than 2db (1997 Proposed Upgrade of Pacific Highway At Tandy’s Lane: Appendices and Working Papers, Table 5.1 Road Traffic Noise Criteria for Noise Sensitive Locations). Since they have not taken adequate "before" readings, then its impossible to show this, but 300 Stat Dec's should be sufficient to show that noise has increased by more than this amount (2db is a 58% increase).
  2. Any readings taken have been close to the highway, and all mitigation has focussed on that, however there are residents as far as 3km away who are now getting sleepless nights because of the acoustics of this area.
  3. - The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) also states that; “In all cases the redevelopment (of existing freeway or arterial road) should be designed so as not to increase noise by more than 2db. Where feasible and reasonable, noise levels from existing roads should be reduced to meet the noise criteria.”(which is 60db in the day and 55db at night) (1999 EPA ‘Environmental criteria for road traffic noise’, p.6, EPA:Chatswood)
  4. - “Noises impacts and mitigation measures must be considered early in the planning process.” (1999 EPA ‘Environmental criteria for road traffic noise’ EPA:Chatswood. p.2). The highway has been open since Christmas 2001 and no consideration has been given.
  5. The EIS stated .... about noise reduction
  6. - The random grooved concrete surface that has been put on this upgrade has increased the noise by 4.5db. (1997 Proposed Upgrade of Pacific Highway At Tandy’s Lane: Appendices and Working Papers pg 25), why has the RTA used concrete when it is known to increase by 2.5db (almost double) above the requirements.
  7. A 4.5db increase involves a very large increase in sound intensity. The human ear is more sensitive to changes in low intensity sound. So, humans are quite sensitive to an increase in noise, when the initial, or reference, noise level is fairly low.
  8. Pavement type is a key issue in the level and nature of noise generated by traffic, tyre/road interaction represents the primary source of noise for all constant speeds in excess of around 40 to 60 km/h. The spectral energy evidenced in the concrete pavement spectra is greatest in the frequency range where human auditory response is the most acute (2002 S. Samuels & L. Brown Review of implementation of the Impact Management Plan on the Pacific Motorway with respect to road traffic noise).
  9. In 1992 the Minister for Roads in England announced new measures to combat the problem of road traffic noise, the most significant of which was to cease using concrete on main roads. (Abbott & Phillips, Transport Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 6AU United Kingdom section 1).
  10. Since the opening of the Yelgun to Chinderah By-pass, we are now subjected to a 30% increase in heavy traffic (Byron Shire Echo, October 1 2002, p.3) with B-doubles day and night and their increased engine capacity and tyre noise.
  11. - The EPA states that there needs to be a basis for; “road designers and builders, regulators and the community to consider the nature and extent of measures to avoid or reduce noise from new road or from the redevelopment of existing roads.” (1999 EPA ‘Environmental criteria for road traffic noise’ EPA:Chatswood. p.2)
  12. - The cost of providing an OGA surface (in 1997) would be $3,271,580.00 for dual carriageway, allowing for inflation and the fact that 1.5 km is single carriageway, this figure would still be reasonably accurate. It is also stated that; “Since OGA is a noise treatment that provides noise control for all residents adjacent to the road surface the estimated cost of the road surface has been divided by the number of residence protected. But the number of affected residences has been grocely underestimated. (1997 Proposed Upgrade of Pacific Highway At Tandy’s Lane: Appendices and Working Papers, p.28),

Scans - by Document

  1. 1997 Proposed Upgrade of Pacific Highway At Tandy’s Lane: Review of Environmental Factors, Main Report, Vol 1
    • 8.2 Existing and Forecast Traffic Characteristics - predict 4% growth - pages 8-2 and 8-3
    • 9.13.Landscape and visual considerations: section 9.13
    • 11.1 Major Benefits - claims decrease of noise section 11
  2. 1997 Proposed Upgrade of Pacific Highway At Tandy’s Lane: Review of Environmental Factors, Appendices and Working papers Vol 2
    • Appendix X - Noise and Vibration Assessment Table of Acceptable limits. Table 5.1
    • Low Noise Road Surface - would be 4.5dbA less than shallow random groove concrete pg 25
    • Analysis of costs of surface vs. mitigation p.28
  3. (Abbott & Phillips, Transport Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 6AU United Kingdom section 1

 

 

 


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