Residents say plane noise no problem, but freight would be
Jerrabomberra resident Michael Ziebell checks the sky above Jerrabomberra. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Aircraft noise should not influence any government decisions on the Tralee development, Jerrabomberra residents say.
NSW Planning is expected to make an announcement on the rezoning of the housing development beneath the Canberra Airport flight path within a matter of weeks.
If approved, the $400 million venture by the Village Building Company would lead to 1000 homes being built south of Queanbeyan over five to six years.
Concerns about aircraft noise have been raised, but Jerrabomberra Residents Association president Michael Ziebell said there was ''no real issue'' with the present noise levels over his suburb.
''There are people who aren't happy with the planes that come over us at the moment, but realistically it's not a real hindrance,'' he said.
''A plane could fly over and we can keep chatting [and be heard].''
Though Jerrabomberra residents are happy with the present situation, Mr Ziebell said there would be a lot of opposition from several suburbs if the airport was to expand to incorporate freight operations.
''Tralee will be affected,'' he said. But there would be a lot of people in other areas who would be voicing their opposition. ''If they start [bringing in] freight, there will be more voices from Gungahlin than here and Tralee,'' he said.
But the Australian Airports Association said the opportunity to boost business at the airport would benefit both Canberra and Queanbeyan economies.
Chief executive officer Caroline Wilkie said if approved, the Tralee development would hinder any future airport expansion including freight and international flights.
''There is other land in the region which is more appropriate than Tralee to meet the population growth needs of Queanbeyan,'' she said.
''The Tralee land will be dramatically affected by aircraft noise. Regardless of whether those moving into the area have been advised of this fact, aircraft noise complaints would occur and put pressure on the Commonwealth government to introduce a curfew at Canberra Airport.''
Ms Wilkie also said that an approval by NSW Planning would contradict the National Airports Safeguarding guidelines, set up to protect airports from encroaching development.
''If the Tralee development is approved, it will prove a failure of the very guidelines that the NSW government signed up to in May this year,'' she said.
Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron has previously said that he would be ''flabbergasted'' by any approval by NSW Planning.