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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 65

(Question No. 4706)

Mr Tickner asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 7 October 1986:

(1) Is he aware that residents of the Electoral Division of Hughes have complained repeatedly about the noise pollution from Army shelling in the Holsworthy area; if so, what steps will be taken to eliminate noise pollution from this increasingly residential area.

Mr Beazley —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) There have been some complaints from residents in close proximity to the Holsworthy Range.

The principal aim and objective of the Army in peace is the training of its members for war. Essential to this is the conduct of live firing practices. The Army acknowledges that live firing causes noise and vibration, the intensity of which is influenced by the weather, atmospheric conditions, ground structure and prevailing winds.

Restrictions on timings when field firing can be conducted, which assist in the reduction of noise, are in force. The restrictions are as follows:

(a) Monday to Saturday-7.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.; and

(b) Sunday and Public Holidays-9.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Holsworthy Range is one of only two ranges in New South Wales where artillery live firing practices can currently be conducted. Live firing, for safety considerations, is normally conducted on Commonwealth owned land.

For Army to fulfil its primary aim, there will be a continuing requirement to use the Holsworthy Range for field firing. Some noise will inevitably result from such training but unfortunately this cannot be avoided.