Call to 'share the pain'

QUEANBEYAN local John Parkes says it's simply unfair that Jerrabomberra is once again being asked to shoulder the burden of increased aircraft noise under Canberra Airport's draft master plan.

And he argues if the Airport does push ahead with plans to become a 24-hour freight hub, some form of noise-sharing arrangement with the ACT must be considered.

"The airport is benefitting everyone in Canberra and Queanbeyan so it only seems fair that everyone should share the noise," Mr Parkes said.

"Personally I feel the whole 24-hour thing is unreasonable. But if push came to shove, and it was deemed a necessity, and it was for the development of the region, then at least share the noise around.

"Bring in two planes over Canberra and a couple over Jerrabomberra and Queanbeyan. If it's so important, I think that's fair and reasonable."

The idea of noise-sharing arrangement has been vociferously opposed by Canberra residents ever since the Federal Government put in place noise abatement areas across much of Queanbeyan and the territory in 1995.

Jet aircraft flying within the noise abatement areas are not permitted to fly below 5000ft above ground level.

Instead, planes taking off and landing from Canberra Airport are funnelled through a high traffic corridor between the ACT and Jerrabomberra's western boundary.

However, more than 600 Queanbeyan homes lie outside the NAA meaning they are subject to direct overflights.

And the introduction of a 24-hour freight hub at the airport would see an increase in the amount of air traffic through the area.

"The thing that grates me most is that we were told specifically when we bought our house that it wouldn't be subject to aircraft noise," Mr Parkes said. "Then all of a sudden it's subject to an oversupply of it."

Mr Parkes, who says he has lived in Queanbeyan for the past 15 years, later produced the original copy of his Jerrabomberra property's contract of sale. The document states the land is not affected by aircraft noise.

"So I do feel we've been treated unfairly in that regard," Mr Parkes added.

The long-term Jerrabomberra local said that when Canberra Airport's flight paths were originally redirected over the area, a number of affected residents had simply sold up and left.

"We've considered selling up [as well] but we're not going to replace our home very easily," Mr Parkes said.

"I mean we love the area, I reckon Jerrabomberra is one of the best places in the region. The only drawback is the aircraft noise.

"People might say, 'well, just pack up and leave', but I've got a lot invested in where I live so it's not that easy or we probably would."

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