Telarah residents complain about excessive dust and noise from an nearby ARTC depot

DUSTY: Residents Pat and Beth Masterson and Mick Cox. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.
DUSTY: Residents Pat and Beth Masterson and Mick Cox. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

For years elderly couple Beth and Pat Masterson have been battling with rail giant ARTC to give Telarah residents a reprieve on noise and dust emanating from their Elizabeth Street compound.

The couple, both in their 80s, say they are at wits end trying to contact the company to vent their concerns.

Mrs Masterson said around the clock truck movements coupled with dust, particularly during these dry and windy times, is upsetting not only them but their neighbours who battle to sleep, and in some cases, bring their asthma and allergies under control.

Mrs Masterson said she had contacted the company on numerous occasions and called environmental assistance lines but to no avail.

"Sometimes you may only get eight to 10 truck movements a day but when there is track work on it is 24/7," she said.

"With these recent dry conditions and the terrible winds we have had lately the situation has become far greater. We can't even sit in the sun on our front verandah."

ARTC manages and maintains an 8,500km rail network across five states.

A spokesperson for the rail organisation said ARTC acknowledges that the yard can be dusty from time-to-time, particularly when it has been  dry for an extended period and windy.

"We appreciate the concerns of the residents of Elizabeth Street.  The Telarah Yard is a busy operational yard that supports our maintenance operations and there can also be some noise associated with this," the spokesperson said. 

"Upgrade works have started to address some of these concerns and we will make contact with the Masterson’s to discuss their concerns and what opportunities they might have to reduce the impacts. Hopefully we can meet in person to go through this.

"These works include the reorganisation of the yard to minimise noise associated to traffic flow including forklift operation, along with having a water tanker visiting the yard three times a week  to manage dust until we asphalt high traffic areas."

The spokesperson said further measures to reduce truck noise will include communications to frequent transport providers to be mindful of noise in the area. Signs will also be displayed on the site as a reminder.

Mrs Masterson contacted her local West Ward councillor Henry Meskauskas who in turn contacted Fairfax Media to raise the dust and noise issue.

He said ARTC had given him assurances in the past that the yard would be tarred. "They have been asked to water the yard on windy days and they don’t," he said. 

"They also gave assurances they would control truck movements at night,” Cr Meskauskas said.


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