A Gungahlin Christian leader has slammed objections to a mosque in the suburb, dubbing them yesterday as intolerant.
Gungahlin Uniting Church minister Mark Faulkner last year wrote welcoming the Canberra Muslim community after the allocation of a site for a mosque in Valley Avenue. He said yesterday there had been no objection to the building of the Uniting Church nor to the Salvation Army, both also in Valley Avenue. Yet the Canberra Muslim community had been hounded, having in 2010 abandoned plans for a mosque in Nicholls after a public backlash.
Mr Faulkner said he was a liberal Christian and would welcome a synagogue between his church and the mosque ''then we could have a good interfaith dialogue''.
He said complaints about possible noise from the mosque seemed to ignore the constant noise from traffic and construction in the area.
Opponents of the mosque, though not named, have been given at least tacit support by the Gungahlin Community Council. Its president, Ewan Brown, said the council had been advised of concerns about the uses to which the proposed mosque development would be put and felt the development application process did not require sufficient elaboration of the information provided.
The council had concerns about noise from the Islamic practice of call to prayer and traffic arrangements on a road to become a major town centre bypass. Only 47 car parking spaces had been allowed for an expected attendance of up to 425 at prayer and more elsewhere in the buildings.
Mr Brown said the council believed adequate community consultation was needed before any development proceeded on this site.
''Opponents to the development need to be given the opportunity to state their concerns and the development proposers be tasked with responding to issues of public concern.''
If opponents substantiated their concerns about the appropriateness of the organisation seeking approval for the development the ACT government should review granting the lease.
President of the Canberra Muslim Community Borhan Ahmed said there was no intention of amplifying the Islamic call to prayer.
''I can categorically assure you this will not happen,'' he said.
There was a mosque at Yarralumla, an Islamic centre in Monash and Muslims met in Civic for Friday prayers. None of these disturbed others in the community.
The proposed mosque would be in a commercial centre where there would be adequate parking.
''I can assure you there will always be some people with comments but there are hundreds of people very positive,'' he said.
Public notification of the proposed mosque began on June 15. Representations can be made until July 6.
A spokeswoman for the ACT Planning and Land Authority said the proposal was going through the standard development application process.
''Should this development go ahead, it must comply with any applicable Environment Protection Authority noise standards.''
The assessment process would enable the planning authority to establish whether further information was needed to address any concerns raised through public representations; whether any changes were required to the proposal; and whether the application should be approved, refused or conditionally approved.