Friday, 22 May 2015

What it's like to live with motocross

I've been compiling a file for the last few months of people's experiences living with motocross in many different places, not just in South East Queensland but all over Australia.  Here are some selected quotes gathered from personal interviews, messages people have sent to me, and other sources.

I hope you will read all of them and think about the lives of the many people behind these statements - and then think about the impact on the community at Adare and Vinegar Hill in the Lockyer Valley.

“The loss of peace and quiet and our rights to quiet enjoyment of our property.”
“The barrage of threats from the owners and users of the establishment, toward us living here in the valley ...”
If you are anywhere outside the house and visible from the road you are likely to get abuse hurled at you by passing motocross traffic.”
“We had people in passing cars throwing empty stubbies at cattle in the paddock.  There were stubbies, plastic bottles, bongs and other rubbish in the crops near the road so that after it was ploughed it was impossible to walk barefoot to adjust the irrigation.  In one paddock beside the road I picked up about 12 bongs, made from plastic soft-drink bottles and bits of hose, in one day.”
“The health and wellbeing of the community where the stress and strain ... put strains on marriages and people’s health.”
“The valuations of our properties dropping with nobody wanting to buy as soon as they heard the noise from the place or heard there was a Mx Park down the road.”
“After five hours of the noise you’d gladly take a chainsaw over there and have a go at them.”
“You’re saying, ‘God, are the motorbikes going to start up?’ So even though they’re not there, you’re on edge because you don’t know... you think, ‘next ten minutes will tell’ ....  And like I say, it’s not [just] when the noise is going, you’re on edge all the time.”
“Friends and family do not want to come and visit anymore as we never know if we are going to be subjected to offensive noise  .... No social life anymore.”  
“We live 7.5km from Echo Valley, luckily it only operates 2-3 times per month as the noise is sometimes incredibly offensive”.
I've lived near there [at Vinegar Hill] previously for the peaceful natural landscape and wildlife. I would like to think this is still valued and protected.  I've experienced the fairly typical behaviours and attitudes of dirt bike enthusiasts and have come away discouraged and dismayed about the self centered uncaring nature of this "sport".

“We have first-hand experience of the excessive noise created from 200+ motocross bikes after camping at the Western Trailhead at Wyaralong Dam in July this year for a horse trail ride. The Western Trailhead campsite is less than two kilometres from the Queensland Moto Park and the noise created from the motocross park disturbed the amenity and in many ways ruined the experience of camping in an otherwise quiet and peaceful location.”
“Living near a motocross track destroys your life in every way - emotionally, financially, and your quality of life.  It causes enormous stress.  This is your home, you have nowhere else to go.”  
“When I travel to the family farm there is constant traffic on the road which at times when groups [going to or from Qld Moto Park] are travelling on convoy and don't know the road has been very dangerous at times. Also there are the usual testosterone filled P-platers that can't handle the narrow windy road and there have been several near misses.”
“We’ve had people in the farm sheds, even driving in at 3am, looking around.  There have been fences pushed over and bikes riding around our property.”
“The traffic on the road is horrific - thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies - they drive the way they ride.  Four times I came very close to an accident because of them.  The creek crossing was a major risk area.”
“Kids without licences and on unregistered bikes would ride for miles on back roads and across country, cutting through fences if necessary, to avoid the coppers on the road to the park.”
“I've experienced first hand the impact that persistent motocross noise and activities can have on a community. ... The noise was insistent and unsettling for all neighbours, particularly as many had young families or had moved to the area for its' lifestyle value - quiet and peaceful. The end result was a lengthy (years) legal battle between Council, the Motocross enthusiasts and the surrounding landholders. Three families sold their properties and left the homes where they had intended to settle, including my own, because of the noise and disrespect of the motocross users and lack of action from Council. It is not a small issue that makes a family give up the home they have built and the place their children have grown up in. I would strongly advise Council to reconsider the application for the Motocross track at Adare and to listen to the concern of the local residents.”.
“Stressful, depressing, suffering physical & mental abuse, tension is causing me personal relationship conflicts, lack of relaxation is health threatening, (hypertension) violation of my chosen lifestyle & of raping me of my rights to enjoy my home in my chosen location. I have lost my composure on numerous occasions screaming out obscenities above the OFFENSIVE disturbing MX moto bike NOISE pleading for the NOISE to STOP. I DO NOT LIKE THE WAY THIS NOISE TORTURE EFFECTS ME> live on acreage & do not want to have to lock myself away from this offensive noise with radio turned up full blast to disguise this invasive torturous din that envelopes me on my own property.”

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