Commercial & industrial noise
Environment Protection (Commercial & Industrial Noise) Policy 2023
The Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023 was authorised on
3 August 2023 and is now in operation. It replaces the Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007.
The 2007 policy will remain in operation until 31 October 2023.
Noise jurisdiction in South Australia
The EPA is only responsible for assessing commercial and industrial noise from EPA-licensed sites which require environmental authorisation to operate.
Noise can come from a wide range of sources, from dogs barking, to traffic, to noise from industrial premises. Due to this, there are a range of state and local government bodies involved in assessing noise impacts based on the noise source. This reduces regulatory responsibility overlap to allow for a timely response to noise complaints
The diagram provides a summary of the responsible authorities for major noise sources.
I have a noise complaint, who do I report it to?
If the complaint is related to a commercial and industrial site that holds an EPA licence, please contact the EPA on (08) 8204 2004 or email. Most noise complaints are managed by local authorities. This includes the use of power tools, noisy air conditioners, or barking dogs. Councils use the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 to manage such noise issues.
For domestic people-related noise such as loud music and parties, please contact SAPOL on its general number 131444. Please check out neighbourhood nuisance to determine the correct authority to contact regarding your noise or other concerns.
Guidelines and information sheets
- Indicative noise factor guidelines for the Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023
- Guidelines for the use of the Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023
- Wind farms environmental noise guidelines 2021
- Guidelines for the assessment of noise from rail infrastructure 2013
- General environmental noise
- Construction noise
What is the purpose of the policy?
The policy provides objective methodology to assess commercial and industrial noise sources in South Australia to protect residents from excessive noise exposure.
Who will use the policy?
Commercial and industrial premises are subject to the provisions of the policy. Similarly, the general public exposed to noise impacts from such premises can use the policy to determine if the noise impacts detected meet the requirements.
The EPA will use the provisions within the policy to assess noise impacts from commercial and industrial premises that require environmental authorisation to operate.
The policy is linked to the Planning and Design Code as a deem-to-satisfy criteria for other commercial and industrial premises. Local councils will assess development applications for commercial and industrial premises that do not need an environmental authorisation to operate against the provisions of the policy.
Local councils can also use special provisions to assess commercial and industrial noise from frost fans, and to support their domestic and nuisance assessments by conducting an objective assessment under the policy.
Acoustic consultants and academics also use the policy to assess commercial and industrial noise.
Why was the policy reviewed?
The existing 2007 policy had been in place for 15 years, during this time various operational improvements were identified along with the introduction of related legislation including both the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 and the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 triggered the need to review.
What has changed?
It is worth noting that changes to the policy are mainly minor or technical in nature. The fundamental nature of how the policy regulates noise is largely unchanged.
The main changes to the policy are:
- Inclusion of a new annoying noise characteristic ‘intermittent’.
- Updated references to modern planning legislation.
- Introduced the Indicative noise factor guidelines for the Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023 (INF Guidelines) to assign noise factor levels from commercial and industrial noise sources to Planning and Design Code zones and subzones.
- Removed duplicated domestic noise provisions which are now part of the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016.
- Changed the title of the policy and the objects of the policy to reference ‘commercial and industrial noise’.
- Updated references to new technical international standards and guidelines.
There have been no changes to:
- How indicative noise levels are determined.
- The indicative noise factors of the land use categories.
What was the consultation process to develop the new policy?
Consultation closed on 23 November 2022. We received 33 submissions from interested individuals and organisations. This report includes a summary of the feedback and our response.
The policy was developed pursuant to section 28 of the Environment Protection Act 1993.
Can I use the Indicative noise factor guidelines before the 31 October 2023?
I am an EPA licensed site, have my noise requirements changed?
There are no changes to indicative noise factors. This along with the fundamental nature of how the policy determines indicative noise factors has not changed. Therefore, it is unlikely your existing noise requirements have changed.
Will the Guidelines for the use of the Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy be updated?
Yes, the guidelines have been updated and are available to be read in conjunction with the new policy.