Western Ring Road sound barriers

Mr. J. BULL (Sunbury) — Today I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Road Safety to confirm for the house and the people who live in the seat of Sunbury Labor’s $10 million commitment that will help over 14 000 people in Glenroy and Gowanbrae sleep at night — a commitment to finally build sound barriers along the M80 Ring Road.

My constituents in Gowanbrae who live alongside the M80 Ring Road currently suffer intolerable and dangerous noise levels which heavily impact on their lives 365 days a year. Noise levels of over 80 decibels were regularly recorded at test sites and readings as high as 100 decibels were recorded. Families are suffering stress, lack of sleep and continual disturbance from noise coming from the ring-road. This noise greatly affects quality of life, disrupting sleep, waking children, preventing families from enjoying time together in their backyards and forcing families to keep doors and windows closed even in summer in an effort to reduce the noise. Even with double glazing and other noise-reduction measures, the noise of the freeway wakes entire households. During summer residents are faced with the choice of being kept awake by the heat or by the continuous noise. The resulting effects on health and wellbeing are very concerning.

In October last year I was thrilled to join the now Premier as well as the former and current members for Pascoe Vale to experience for ourselves the constant noise that causes so much harm to the people we represent. We also announced our commitment to build barriers to help fix the problem once and for all. The Andrews Labor government has listened to the concerns of Gowanbrae and Glenroy residents, and I am proud that we are able to make this commitment for them. This announcement came as a huge relief to the communities I represent and was the result of many years of work by community leaders and residents fighting to keep their communities healthy and happy. Victorians deserve good health and the ability to sleep and live comfortably in their homes. These noise barriers will mean that the Gowanbrae and Glenroy communities will continue to be great places to live well into the future.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the former member for Pascoe Vale, Christine Campbell, for her work in helping get this project off the ground. I am proud to be taking the next steps as the member for Sunbury and delivering this Labor election commitment to the people of Gowanbrae. I ask the minister for an update on this important project, a project that puts people first.