Lakeside owner claims circuit noise not being measured fairly

Lakeside Park pic: Matthew Paul Photography

Queensland Raceways CEO John Tetley has claimed that noise levels at Lakeside Park are not being measured in a way which truly represents the impact on nearby residents.

A self-imposed suspension on racing remains in place at Lakeside due to fines accrued by Queensland Raceways for noise breaches last year, resulting in the cancellation of next month’s Lakeside Classic.

In an open letter published on circuit’s Facebook page, Tetley argues that the noise meters are effectively overstating the volume of noise heard in neighbouring houses due to being placed to close to the track.

Lakeside is currently subject to a 70dB(A) noise limit owing to its status as an ‘Outdoor Entertainment Venue’, although it would be allowed 75dB(A) if it was reclassified as a ‘Sports Ground’, as it has campaigned for.

According to Tetley, Lakeside is actually allowed to generate noise measured at 103dB(A) and reasons that this compares favourably to Phillip Island’s limit of 95dB(A).

That is because Phillip Island’s figure is measured from around 30 metres away versus around four metres away for Lakeside, and the factor of (approximately) seven difference equates to an intensity of around 50 times as much if all other things are equal.

Going by Tetley’s principle, if Lakeside’s noise was measured from the same distance, it would result in a figure of around 85dB(A), a figure which has been verified by Speedcafe.com.

While this exceeds the limit imposed on Lakeside under either its current or preferred scenario, Tetley reasons that the noise levels at the houses would be within limits if their distance from the circuit was accounted for.

“Lakeside is NOT allowed to make 103dB – that is the INTENSITY of sound that has been calculated to deliver less than 70dB(A) to the reference house in almost all weather conditions,” reads the post, in part.

“AND that is the cause of the argument; MBRC is not measuring the 70dB at the agreed reference house but at a meter which is much closer to the track edge over water with no obstructions. Well not until we put the old bridge sections there last week – and they look horrible.”

The ‘bridge sections’ to which Tetley refer are structures left over from when the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit was shortened in 2010, which have recently been strategically positioned at the track in an attempt to dull the noise.

Tetley did call for calm from concerned motorsport fans in their correspondence with Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC), the local government area in which Lakeside is located, suggesting that some emails sent to council(lors) “contain too much passion” and are “NOT helping.”

He also seeks to shift blame onto whoever is advising MBRC, the local government area in which Lakeside is located, rather than councillors themselves.

“To have put that misinformation out there means somebody is giving the Councillors biased advice and they are the enemy here – NOT the Councillors,” he surmises.

“Let’s hope whoever it is gets fired – and soon.”

Tetley also draws a distinction between ‘sound’ and ‘noise’, the latter of which he believes has negative connotations.

This report has used ‘noise’ in keeping with references to ‘audible noise’ in the relevant legislation.

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