Scenic Rim Regional Council overturns its own conditions in favour of Guanaba developer

On 18 August 2015, the Scenic Rim Regional Council planning and development committee voted to change noise pollution and staffing conditions it originally imposed on the Guanaba Experience development.

The vote was 5 in favour and 2 against. Tamborine Mountain Councillors voted against overturning the conditions.

Noise pollution
Scenic Rim Regional Council substantially increased the levels of allowable noise pollution. It didn’t provide any reason for the change.

Council originally imposed noise conditions that allowed for a much smaller increase over the existing noise levels of the area.

As part of these conditions, Council stated noise could be 5dB above LA90 from 7am to 10pm and 3dB above LA90 from 10pm to 7am. Council specified these noise levels would be “acceptable” at “sensitive places” – meaning people living nearby.

But in August, Council changed these conditions, so now from 7am to 10pm, intermittent noise can be up to 52 dBA and steady noise can be up to 42 dBA. From 10pm to 7am, noise can be up to 29 dBA.

This change is significant and substantial and will impact seriously on the amenity of nearby residents and fauna in the forest.

Staff
Scenic Rim Regional Council removed its cap on staff numbers on the site. Council originally imposed a cap of 30 staff on site. It abandoned this cap based on the proposed use of mainly casual and part-time staff.

More information

Details of the negotiation + effects of noise on fauna

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Guanaba developer wants to increase noise pollution levels

The Guanaba Experience developer now seeks to negotiate two “conditions” Council imposed on the entertainment park; the negotiations centering on noise pollution and staff levels.

About noise and the development

Residents, Council and individual Councillors emphasised noise as one of the main concerns about the development.

We firmly believe the noise impact caused by the Guanaba Experience development is inappropriate for the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct. Nevertheless, Council’s approval of the development in June this year allowed for additional noise over and above the current noise levels experienced in the area.

The developer’s negotiating with Council to allow for significantly higher levels of noise pollution from the Guanaba Experience entertainment park.

The technical details: Council stated noise could be 5dB above LA90 from 7am to 10pm and 3dB above LA90 from 10pm to 7am. Council specified these noise levels would be “acceptable” at “sensitive places” – meaning people living nearby.

The developer’s requested Council change its condition to suit the levels of noise pollution argued for in the acoustic report for the entertainment park development application.

Given the Council justified its approval of the Guanaba Experience development on the basis of using “conditions” to mitigate impacts, we expect Council to stick with its original position on noise impacts, rather than change to meet the developer’s request.

Noise and its effect on wildlifeFemale Red Necked Wallaby Guanaba

Since the 1970s, scientists have been discovering that human-generated noise pollution can have a significant impact on fauna, including:

1. Masking important environmental cues for communication and orientation.
2. Causing physiological changes, such as increased heart rate and stress.
3. Forcing abandonment of territories.
4. Altering and even halting reproduction.

It’s important to note the effects of noise pollution from the entertainment park on the ecological functioning of the 500 acres and surrounding area doesn’t seem to have been assessed at all.

Negotiating staffing levels

Council capped staff on site at 30 at any one time. The developer has asked for this cap to be removed.