Statement: Noise mitigation


14 December 2018

Gareth Ward MP
Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast
Parliamentary Secretary for Education
Member for Kiama

One of the reasons I stood for Parliament was to fix the Princes Highway. The benefits have been enormous – lives have been saved and travel times improved enormously.

However, residents have raised with me concerns about the subsequent noise impacts. I have sat in the living rooms and backyards of impacted residents and as their local MP, I have taken up the fight to secure the best possible outcomes.

I am delighted to have secured a major outcome for local residents who have raised concerns with me about the need for noise mitigation at two localities along the Princes Highway.

Working with the Berry Community Forum and Berry residents, I have secured $5.3Million from the NSW Government to construct noise mitigation measures in the southern part of the Berry village.

I can also advise that the current noise barrier along the Princes Highway adjacent to Coryule Place will be lifted to 3.5 metres.

With respect to the concerns of Berry residents, Roads and Maritime Services conducted a post-construction assessment to compare actual noise levels with those predicted during the design of the project.

The report concluded the operational noise mitigation measures already in place are performing as intended, with noise levels meeting both the project’s conditions of approval and EPA requirements. As I promised, this report will be released to the public today alongside the announcement I am making.

Whilst Roads and Maritime Services advised me that the project requirements have been met, I asked the RMS to do more to address the concerns of our community and I’d like to thank them for working with me on this important outcome for locals.

In relation to Coryule Place, the NSW Government provided $1 million to build the Coryule Place noise barrier following complaints from residents to help reduce traffic noise in the surrounding area. This work was completed in 2016.

The structure was designed with the surrounding environment in mind, making sure the wall blended in with the landscape and was as unobtrusive as possible.

The barrier is 213 metres long and built on the eastern side of the Princes Highway, starting south of the Bland Street overpass.

Subsequent complaints have been made about the effectiveness of the noise wall by residents and on their behalf I have sought support for additional work to be carried out to address these concerns.

Roads and Maritime Services has considered the concerns of residents and planning is underway to increase the existing height of the noise wall to 3.5 metres across its entire length.

I have asked the RMS to release concept designs for both projects so that our community can be consulted prior to going out to tender for work on both projects in the first half of next year.