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GUIDELINES for managing expected noise and vibration from the construction and operation of the North-West Rail Link are set to be tightened.
Hills Shire Council last week voted to support the new guidelines proposed by the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The changes, updated from government guidelines in 2007, aim to alleviate noise near hospitals, churches, retirement homes and residential areas.
A report to the council suggests less stringent noise “trigger” levels may be appropriately applied to urban areas where there is already significant background noise such as at Castle Towers.
Liberal councillor Peter Dimbrowsky described the council report, recommending a show of support for the new guidelines, as “ridiculous”. He said the government’s plans to tighten noise control was nothing more than a smokescreen.
“How do you make a train silent? The only way to alleviate the noise is to have the rail line underground, as is council’s policy,” he said.
Liberal councillor Larry Bolitho defended the guidelines, saying they were necessary for an upcoming environmental impact statement.
“It’s important the EIS is done against the new guidelines because the previous guidelines are vastly inferior,” Cr Bolitho said.
The council will now make a submission to be forwarded to the Office of Environment and Heritage supporting the revised guidelines.
This article first appeared on hills-shire-times.whereilive.com.au
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