Neighbours Garth Cochrane (back left) and Russ Harley of Runnymede, pictured with bike riders, from left, Belinda Adams, 12, Teykoa Harley, 9, and Tanayah Harley, 7, believe there should be a happy medium and monitor the times they ride bikes to avoid possible conflict with other neighbours.
Neighbours Garth Cochrane (back left) and Russ Harley of Runnymede, pictured with bike riders, from left, Belinda Adams, 12, Teykoa Harley, 9, and Tanayah Harley, 7, believe there should be a happy medium and monitor the times they ride bikes to avoid possible conflict with other neighbours. Cathy Adams

Dirt bike rule ‘unfair'

WHEN Russ Harley, of Kyogle, found out his neighbours where unhappy about his family riding dirt bikes on their two-hectare property he paid them a visit.

And, in the plumber's friendly way, he was able to work out a plan that everybody could live with.

Together they decided dirt bikes could be ridden for one hour each day in a designated area. They also agreed that riding was unrestricted in other areas on an adjoining property away from his neighbours.

He says a new draft amendment to Kyogle Council's control plan, currently on exhibition, was unfair and unrealistic to dirt bike riders.

The draft says riders “must not involve interference with the neighbourhood by reason of the emission of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, vapour steam, soot, ash, dust, light, waste water, waste product, grit or oil, traffic generation or otherwise.”

The problem, according to Mr Harley, is the draft fails to set any measurements.

“It just doesn't really define anything. There's no real noise input or measurements,” he said.

The policy also doesn't require neighbours to try to come to an agreement between themselves before contacting the authorities which, in Mr Harley's view, is another major fault.

“It should be a first step thatpeople consult with their neighbours,” he said.

Mr Harley said most dirt bike riders in Kyogle were employed, responsible citizens who wanted to do the right thing.

“In the Kyogle Dirt Bike Club everybody's got jobs, a few of us run businesses. There are lots of families involved,” he said.

The council's director of technical services, John Hession, agreed the best-case scenario would be one in which neighbours get together to come up with an agreement.

But in reality the council or the police were often called on to intervene, he said.

Mr Hession said the council was unable to set strict measurements because it was required to draft the amendment in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act, in which noise was classified as“offensive” when it exceeded background level noise.

The draft is on public exhibition until June 28 and can be downloaded from the council’s website (www.kyogle.nsw.gov.au) or viewed at the council chambers.

If you would like to know more, the council phone number is 02 6632 1611
 



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