Port noise ‘distressing’ Williamstown residents

Port of Melbourne and the Environment Protection Authority are investigating the source of the noise pollution. Photo: Port of Melbourne

Goya Dmytryshchak

Williamstown residents say noise pollution from the Port of Melbourne is making their lives unbearable.

Nigel and Wendy Lampert have written to the Port of Melbourne complaining of “debilitating, painful and distressing” noise.

Mr Lampert described the noise as a low humming or rumbling.

“Think of an organ: when you play an organ and they do those low bass notes,” he said.

“If you’re in a closed room, the air is vibrating and you can feel it.

“We would go to bed and I could hear it in bed and I could feel it. It’s terrible. And in every room of the house it was the same.”

He said other noises included the “whump” sound of dropped containers, high-pitched engines and sirens wailing.

The Lamperts say they understand the need for the port to grow but believe urgent action is needed to reduce port noise.

“It is evident that the port operations will grow, but they must pay real and active attention to the lives and needs of residents,” they write in their complaint.

“The actions of the port to this time seem somewhat arrogant, and commercially focussed with little or no real regard for residents on the Williamstown side.”

A Port of Melbourne spokeswoman said the Environment Protection Authority was involved in trying to identify the source of the noise pollution.

“Port of Melbourne is aware that some local residents are experiencing noise disturbances and we are sorry that this is happening,” she said.

“Port of Melbourne is working with all the relevant port operators and the EPA in trying to identify the specific source(s) of the noise(s).

“All port users are subject to state and council regulations regarding noise levels.

“In addition, we have commissioned an independent noise monitoring program to identify noise levels at various locations which include Port Melbourne and Williamstown.

“An independent program will provide factual noise levels at each location and we hope it will assist in identifying the sources of the noises causing concern.”