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The Environment Protection Act 1993 requires anyone doing something that pollutes or might pollute the environment to take all reasonable measures to prevent or minimise environmental harm or nuisance. Noise issues from residential properties may be an environmental nuisance under the Act if the noise unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of the area.
There are a number of ways to determine whether a noise is an environmental nuisance under the Act. Some domestic noise sources, such as power tools and air conditioning units have mandated noise levels that they must meet.
The EPA's role
For information on who can help with which types of noise, visit our noise section.
The EPA’s role is to ensure that licensed premises (such as factories or businesses) are operating in accordance with the Act. Licensing is required when an activity has the potential to have a significant or widespread impact on the environment.
A number of common domestic noise sources may cause an environmental nuisance, and the following links provide types of noise covered by legislation and lists the maximum noise levels permissible in specific circumstances:
- fixed domestic machines (65.7 KB PDF) eg air conditioners, compressors, pumps, swimming pool pumps and filters, etc. Check out FAQs
- general environmental noise (51.8 KB PDF) eg non-fixed domestic machines or tools such as power tools, lawnmowers, spray guns, etc
- construction noise (34.8 KB PDF). Check out FAQs
- other types of noise eg parties, revving engines, animals, pubs, aircraft, etc
Domestic issues are best resolved by working together with your neighbour. Experience shows that noise issues are often successfully resolved by negotiation between neighbours.
However, you may also consider engaging a professional mediation service, such as Community Mediation Services on (08) 8384 5222. They provide a free service at different locations.
Mediation helps neighbours to communicate effectively and assists in solving disputes in a positive way. Disputes that are settled without involving an enforcement agency usually result in friendlier ongoing relationships and often provide more effective solutions.
Last modified: 05/06/2012 02:25 pm