Fed up: Sturt Street resident Brian Anstey and Central Ward candidate John Dooley are calling for the CBD’s streets to calm down. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Push to calm the city’s main drag

October 22, 2020 BY

FOR many business owners, customers and residents of central Ballarat, revving cars and loud motorcycle sounds have become a part of the environment.

However, a representative from the car community and Central Ward candidate John Dooley said it doesn’t have to be this way.

“The issue of the noise on Sturt Street is really annoying for the car community because it’s not what we do, we just like classic cars and getting together and being community-minded,” he said.

“What’s happening is that up and down Sturt Street, the culture and tradition of revving as loud as you can up and down the street, everyone feels like it’s a matter of time before something happens.

“It’s a bad look, particularly for business owners who have people sitting out on the street, it impacts the workers in the cafes mentally because they are listening to it all day and as far as the residents go, well they can’t sleep.”

Sturt Street resident Brian Anstey said the noise made by a select few cars and motorcycles has been an ongoing issue for the 14 years he’s lived on the street.

“We’ve changed our double glazing twice for sound-proofing and nothing,” he said. “It can’t be both a racetrack and a recreational space for wining and dining.

“We just want something to change.”

In response to the issue Mr Dooley said he’s working with business owners and residents to find a solution to calm the roads of the CBD.

“What’s been put forward to me is that the police aren’t interested and the City can’t do anything,” he said.

“But I think you can do something, the City could introduce a by-law called anti-cruising and enforce some serious ramifications.

“Once they know there is a law that if you cruise you will be punished, they will be deterred.”

If the City decides against an anti-cruising by-law Mr Dooley said there are other options to inhibit this kind of behaviour.

“I would urge residents and business owners to report them to the EPA,” he said.

“If people make enough reports they can set up a camera or monitor around here and you would be shocked as to how quickly that would change things.

“You could also block off one lane, so to remove the stage, so there’s no racing or intimidation or even set up a police car during peak times so everyone would have to slow down.”

As a strong campaigner for the anti-cruising by-laws, Mr Dooley said it’s the city’s best chance at deterring dangerous and noisy drivers from our streets.

“They’ve put these by-laws in place already in Christchurch in New Zealand and it’s a strong deterrent there,” he said.

“If the by-law was passed I think it would be reduced by 50 per cent or more.

“If enough people get behind it and report these drivers, there is definitely something the City the police will have to do something about it.”