Too loud, claim speedway opponents

In cyberspace, nobody can hear you scream.

But that hasn’t stopped North Lismore resident Laurie Axtens from starting a Facebook campaign that aims to drown out the noise of the Lismore Speedway.

“I’ve started a small campaign because I had to yell to be heard in my house last Sunday (January 24).

“I’m not opposed to the speedway per se, but I think it requires a bit more monitoring. Last Sunday it could be heard in Goonellabah... It was as loud as I’ve heard it in a decade. I don’t know if it was some weird weather thing, it’s not usually that loud. It was seriously loud, I was yelling in my own lounge room,” Mr Axtens said.

In the three days that the Facebook campaign has been operating it has attracted 36 people.

“It’s nice to use modern technology to network with the local community, and I wanted to see if I am on my own in disapproval or if there are more people out there. Our only real agenda is that there be appropriate monitoring of the speedway to make sure the noise levels are at legal levels, and should they find that impossible, that the speedway be relocated. It would be good if it was moved away from the urban centre. I’m sure the restauranteurs of Lismore would agree when I said it does nothing for encouraging clientele in Lismore.”

On the Facebook page Mr Axtens posted a comment that said, “The Lismore speedway is too loud, has the carbon footprint of a drunken Sasquatch (Bigfoot) doing a river dance and scares off more residents than it encourages visitors”.

Fellow North Lismore resident Vicki Findlay also thought the noise at the last speedway meeting was particularly loud and took a more traditional approach to voicing a complaint: she wrote a letter to the Council.

“The level of sound on Sunday night was extremely loud and unlikely to meet noise regulation restrictions,” she said. “It was beyond reasonable.”

But she said her letter went beyond concerns about sound levels and monitoring; Ms Findlay said her letter was “a pre-emptive strike” after reading comments from the promoter, David Lander, that he wanted to have two more double headers and a vintage car race next year.

In 2008 Mr Lander requested increasing the number of meetings from 14 to 20 per year. The previous council agreed to increase it to 16 without the requirement for a development application.

Ms Findlay said she would welcome a request for more events because she believes the Council would now require a DA to be submitted, “and then we can have a full, proper consultation.”

But Mr Lander said there were no plans to have any extra meetings.

“I’ve got approval for 16 meetings and I’m happy with 16. That was approved two years ago and there is no reason to change.”

He also said the noise levels on Sunday were in accordance with his approvals.

“David Mundt from Lismore Council was sitting there monitoring levels right next to our monitoring person. In the last three years since I’ve had the speedway we have been monitoring it and we don’t go over. Never have, never will. Some nights might be more cloudy than others so people might hear it more, but I can’t help that,” he said.

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