Blue Mountains News

Council Study Finds Airport Noise on Natural Areas Overlooked

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 30 Dec 2017 - Posted: 3 Nov 2017
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill is concerned the duration and frequency of aircraft noise from the Western Sydney Airport is not being taken into consideration and will impact the natural quiet of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
The findings of a study commissioned by Blue Mountains City Council reveal the impact of Western Sydney Airport flight paths on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and the lack of standards regarding aircraft noise management in natural areas.

Council commissioned the study after the Australian Government’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Western Sydney Airport stated that the airport will not have a significant impact on World Heritage values or the actual World Heritage Area.

Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said the Council rejects this statement, particularly as the final airspace arrangements are not known.

“The potential impacts on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area have been seriously overlooked with potentially disastrous consequences on its World Heritage values and the regional economy of the Blue Mountains,” he said.

“The City of the Blue Mountains is a special place of unsurpassed natural values which the draft EIS has failed to take into consideration. It’s one of only two cities in the world within a World Heritage listed National Park and it’s also our nation's most visited National Park, attracting over 3 million visitors every year.”

Acoustic consultants, Marshall Day Acoustics (MDA) undertook the study. MDA is familiar with the Western Sydney Airport from their work on the draft EIS as part of the WSROCs peer review team.

The study highlighted a number of limitations in the Australian Government’s EIS relating to the noise impacts in the Blue Mountains. For example, the EIS noise metrics and threshold levels in isolation may not wholly consider the impact on tranquil settings such as the National Park.

It also illustrates the method used to assess noise impacts in wilderness areas, using simple comparisons between natural and artificial sounds, is inappropriate. It is recommended that the impact of lower levels of noise needs to be assessed due to the existing low background levels in the National Park. The aircraft noise is audible for a longer duration than the period when the highest noise level is reached.

“A key concern is the duration and frequency of noise rather than maximum noise level of any single overflight,” said the Mayor.

“The study demonstrates how the cumulative effect of increased aircraft overflights, and therefore noise events, could significantly diminish the amount of time in which the natural soundscape is experienced,” said the Mayor.

Currently, there is no existing Australian legislation, standards, policies or practice regarding aircraft noise management in natural areas.

The protection of natural soundscapes in other countries is seen as an important consideration, where they are recognised for their inherent value as a natural asset as well as for the enjoyment of visitors.

The Mayor said, “The Australian Government has not taken into account current international trends in the management of aircraft noise in national parks when proposing to operate a 24 hour flight path over the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.”

“The US is trying to restore peace and tranquillity across their National Parks including the Grand Canyon, one of their most prized World Heritage Listed locations,” he said. “Let’s learn from their mistakes and not introduce aircraft noise here from the outset.”

The Council intends to present the findings of the study to the Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA) and has requested a briefing with Australian Government’s Airservices Australia.

 
Marriage Celebrant Marriage Celebrant Marriage Celebrant A Ceremony by Design

Recent News

Partnership Program Means Zero Food Waste for Leura
Partnership Program Means Zero Food Waste for Leura
A new initiative ‘Zero Waste Leura’ was launched at Leura Garage on 25...
Volunteers Honoured at Annual Bushcare Awards
Volunteers Honoured at Annual Bushcare Awards
Community enthusiasm for environmental conservation has grown this year,...
Total Fire Ban declared in Lithgow & Oberon, 30 November 2020
Total Fire Ban declared in Lithgow & Oberon, 30 November 2020
A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Central Ranges, Northern Slopes,...
103 Years is something to Celebrate!
103 Years is something to Celebrate!
Lithgow Mayor, Ray Thompson had the privilege of wishing Dulcie Kearns...
Stuart Ayres Congratulates Local Winner Of 2020 Excellence In Nursing And Midwifery Awards
Stuart Ayres Congratulates Local Winner Of 2020 Excellence In Nursing And Midwifery Awards
Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today congratulated Cindy Partridg...

What's New

Santa Delivered Goodies 4 Kids & Adults
Santa Delivered Goodies 4 Kids & Adults
Blue Mountains Limousines & Vintage Cadillacs Hampers crammed with Blue Mountains-made delicacies to children or adults at any address in the local region.
Jenolan Caves have reopened some caves
Jenolan Caves have reopened some caves
Jenolan Caves Exclusive weekend accommodation or Chisolm's dining cave experiences available now.
The ATO's cyber security checklist +++
The ATO's cyber security checklist +++
Trumans Chartered Accountants Trumans November Newsletter now available. What does the “full expensing” write-off deduction mean for business?
Romantic Feel of a Bygone Era
Romantic Feel of a Bygone Era
Sunset Cottages Features include large fire pit, spa baths, BBQ, air-conditioning, cooking facilities.
School Holidays Fast approaching!
School Holidays Fast approaching!
Federation Gardens and Possums Hideaway Family friendly, fully self contained cottages on offer
Also in this Section

Have You Visited

Announcement
Romantic Feel of a Bygone EraFeatures include large fire pit, spa baths, BBQ, air-conditioning, cooking facilities.View Sunset Cottages »