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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2658 ..


MS HORODNY (10.33): Mr Speaker, I present the Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1996.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I am presenting a Bill to amend the Noise Control Act 1988 which will have the effect of including under the Act noise emitted by motor vehicles that are entering, leaving or on private premises. The Bill is primarily aimed at addressing the issue of truck parking in residential areas, which has been the subject of much controversy in recent years. Unfortunately, it is also an issue on which there has been little action by the Government. Members will recall that last May the Government announced new rules for the parking of heavy vehicles in residential streets. Despite the much-vaunted year-long public consultation process, the outcome was a set of rules that almost totally favoured truck drivers' interests and gave nothing to those residents who have trucks parking in their streets and who suffer regular disturbances by trucks. The Government's rules on truck parking represent little change from the status quo.

Mr De Domenico: That is rubbish, and you know it. It is absolute rubbish. Like your milk bottle tops, it is nonsense. You do not know what you are talking about.

MS HORODNY: You obviously do not live near a truck, Mr De Domenico. There are bans on the very limited range of trucks that are unlikely to be found in residential areas anyway. Neighbours can still be disturbed from 5.30 in the morning until midnight by the noise of trucks coming and going. Truck operators have been "urged" to minimise vehicle noise, but there is no legal backup for neighbours to object to those truck operators who act irresponsibly. It is pitting neighbour against neighbour, and the Government thinks that is quite fine.

Under the Government's new rules, the onus is really on the neighbours to complain about a truck if it is not conforming with the rules, and it puts a lot of pressure on neighbours to have to confront a truck driver. For most people, this is very stressful. Many people are putting up with the nuisance caused by neighbouring trucks because of the fear of causing a scene. It cannot be said that just because there have not been many complaints there is no problem. We believe it is better for trucks in residential areas to be controlled by a legislative means rather than by relying on neighbours to lodge complaints.

In other cities there is no question that there should be controls over large trucks being kept in residential areas. Many local councils have planning restrictions on the parking of trucks in residential areas. Why is it that Canberra, the national capital and a city known for the quality of its environment, cannot come to grips with this issue? Why do trucks have such a high priority over residents in a city that is supposed to be so carefully planned to maintain a high standard of urban amenity? The Greens think that it is time for the truck issue to be resolved once and for all. In the Assembly on 15 May I put forward

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