Save Dunoon Village!
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Dunoon is a small village town, in the hills north of Lismore NSW.
We are a small community that want to be heard!
In the past year, a new family moved to town and purchased the land directly next to our sports field/club, and above the new housing estate.
They have established a Blueberry Farm on a commercial scale and look to harvest soon.
They have been using a bird scarer (a gun sounding device which goes off every few minutes, all day, every day.
Therefore the noise, is constantly surrounding our homes, families and children, and affecting day to day life. We have a large population of children and animals in Dunoon, of whom are experiencing great stress from this constant offensive noise.
No community consultation was made prior to this operation, due to the current zoning and so has begun a constant battle for peace and quiet, and opinions to be heard.
Let it be known that the community would of happily supported this endeavor, had it of been located away from the built up area of Dunoon NSW.
(Email from LCC 7/6/17)
Over the last 2 weeks Council has received complaints from about 10-15 complainants from as far away as Duncan Road, Numulgi about this activity. The noise generated is from an LPG powered bird scare gun, which emits a loud blast like a firework being launched (not the explosion) in 3-5 minute cycles. The nature/character of the noise, the volume and its frequency is one that would put it into the category of intrusive noise. For this reasons, these types of bird scare guns are not recommended for use near built up areas.
The alternative to protect crops is to use nets - but there is a cost associated with that.
Council's initial response recorded noise levels which identified the level of noise was intrusive and would classified as "offensive noise". Council staff approached the person by phone (he was not located in Dunoon that week) seeking him to limit use to certain hours to minimise the impact in the first instance. He agreed to comply with the verbal direction - but did not. Further complaints were received.
Council staff met to the property owner on Monday last week and explained the community concerns, and issued him with a written noise abatement direction to cease the activity. A copy of the direction was provided Lismore Police.
Further noise measurements were undertaken last week resulting in unacceptable noise levels despite relocation of the bird scare gun further up the hill.
Police attended on Saturday around 9.00am and noise ceased.
Discussions with the property owner this week have included advice that he wants to take the noise abatement direction issued by Council to Court, and he was advised he can do that, but he still can't use the device pending an outcome on his appeal. It is understood that blueberries are currently being harvested, and that activity will be concluded in the next 2-3 weeks.
The device continues to be used in contravention of Council's noise abatement direction, and Council are considering the issue of fines to the property owner. Each discharge of the bird scare gun in contravention of the noise abatement direction is an offence that carries a $330 penalty.
After numerous conversations and requests between locals and the farmer, the many call outs by police and other authorities, we have now been told by Stewart, the Lismore Council Compliance Officer that ....
"The Blueberry farm can use the bird gas gun from 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday for no more than 6 hours a day and 6 times in the hour so if it starts at 7am it must stop at 2pm Saturday start at 7:30 to 5pm and the same time limits as a week day not at all on a Sunday.
The council will not stop the farmer from using it because it is farm land."
So the council has no intention in stop the noise and this is not good enough I've been told by council if the community wishes to stop this then the community must take the farmer to Lismore court.
Neighboring residents are feeling a toll on their mental health, local animals have caused great destruction to property from being so frightened, babies are not sleeping during the day, and it has created a big brown hole in our beautiful town. See image for reference.
We are being ignored and belittled for having opinions against commercial farming. We were here first, and we expect respect.
We as a community would like this Blueberry Farm to cease business until this issue is resolved, with both the farmer and community negotiating an outcome in which all are happy with.
Please sign and share so we can be heard by our local council!
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