By Kyra Gillespie
Residents of a Berwick retirement village are calling on the State Government to build sound barriers they say they have been petitioning for years.
Woodlands Park is just metres from the busy Monash Freeway.
Situated on Kangan Drive, the village is home to over 340 residents.
Members of the Residents Advisory Committee said a when the permit for the village was submitted in 2002, there was no requirement of the developer to install sound barriers.
“No-one will take responsibility for it,” Committee Chairman Malcolm Menzel said.
“We are in a void that no-one is willing to fill.
“We’re the victims of a flawed system.”
The embattled retirees said they can’t sit outside without being bombarded by the sound of traffic.
“When you’re outside you can’t even hear yourself talk and its worse when it’s wet.
“You have to go inside to have a conversation, and even then you can still hear it.
“It’s affecting people’s ability to sleep, and in turn their overall health and wellbeing.”
IIn 2012 an acoustic assessment was conducted of the traffic noise impact of the freeway upon Woodlands Park, and found the noise exceeded the VicRoads threshold.
Their last push for the barriers was in 2015, with a fruitless visit from Roads Minister Luke Donnellan.
“VicRoads, Casey and the State Government have played handball with this one,” fellow resident John Barron said.
“We all pay rates, we deserve to have our concerns addressed.”
Gembrook MP Brad Battin said he would campaign for the sound barriers if the Coalition is elected in November.
He estimates the barriers would cost around $1 million to construct.
With stage two of the Monash Freeway Upgrade kicking off late this year, Mr Battin said the Andrew’s Labor Government needs to factor the sound barriers in.
“Once stage two commences these residents are going to be dealing with traffic during the day and roadworks at night,” he said.
“There will be no escape.
“It only makes sense to build these sound barriers as part of the Monash upgrade.”
The Major Road Projects Authority (MRPA) is currently overseeing the second stage of the Freeway upgrade.
Project Director Ray Paterson said noise modelling is carried out as part of upgrade projects to determine the impact of vehicle noise on nearby communities.
“We’re currently finalising noise modelling as part of the reference design for the second stage of the Monash Freeway Upgrade,” Mr Paterson said.
“We’ll be assessing vehicle noise impact against the existing noise policy and we’ll be speaking to nearby residents about any measures which may be put in place as part of the project.”
MRPA will assess noise modelling in line with VicRoads’ noise policy to determine if any changes need to be considered.