Noise control

Laws have been set under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to create a level of consistency in the monitoring of noise.

Noise regulations outline the quantitative volume of noise, time, place and the frequency of noise for certain activities or equipment.

Enforcing noise laws

The regulatory authorities responsible for enforcing noise laws in Queensland vary according to the source and location of the noise.

Council can investigate breaches of the noise regulations listed below.  Other noise complaints should be directed to the relevant authority.

Council control

Council will investigate any breaches of the noise regulations listed below.

Noises not specifically listed may be able to be investigated by Council as a general noise nuisance.

Complaints regarding excess noise, contact council.

Other authorities control

Queensland Police - Contact your local police station

  • Amplified / music noise from parties, rowdy behaviour, burglar alarms
  • Vehicles / motor bike noise from private land or traffic on minor roads

National Parks & Wildlife1300 130 372

  • Animal noise from wild or native animals

Office of Liquor and Gaming13 74 68

  • All noise issues involving licensed premises

Department of Transport and Main Roads13 23 80

  • Traffic on major arterial roads and noisy vehicles

Air Services Australia1800 802 584

  • Aircraft noise

Noise regulations

Air conditioning equipment

An occupier of a premises where air conditioning equipment is located, commits an offence under the Environmental Protection Act if the equipment is operated:

  • after 10:00 PM on any day and before 7:00 AM of the following day in a manner that makes noise of more than 3 dB(A) above the background level
  • from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on any day in a manner that makes a noise of more than 5 dB(A) above the background level
  • between the hours of 7:00AM to 7:00PM in a manner that makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A).

Amplifier device

Amplifier devices include loud-hailers, megaphones, public address systems, remote telephone bells and telephone repeater bells. A person must not operate any of these devices in a way that makes audible noise:

  • on a business day, before 7:00 AM or after 10:00 PM; or
  • on any other day, before 8:00 AM or after 6:00 PM. 

Blasting

A person must not conduct blasting if any of the following applies:

  • the air blast overpressure is more than 115 dB(Z) Peak for 4 out of any 5 consecutive blasts
  • the air blast overpressure is more than 120 dB(Z) Peak for any blast
  • the ground vibration is:
    • for vibrations of more than 35Hz, more than 25mm a second ground vibration, peak particle velocity
    • for vibrations of no more than 35Hz, more than 10mm a second ground vibration, peak particle velocity.

Building work

A person must not carry out building work in a way that makes audible noise:

  • on a business day or Saturday before 6:30 AM or after 6:30 PM.
  • on any other day, at any time.

These requirements apply to licensed builders and owner builders.

For noise restrictions relating to home renovation projects carried out by the home owner, refer to Regulated devices.

Indoor venue

An indoor venue is a building used for musical, sporting, entertainment, cultural or religious activities. An indoor activity does not include a licensed premises or a building being used for an open-air event.

An occupier of a building must not use the building as an indoor venue:

  • before 7:00 AM or after midnight if the use makes an audible noise
  • from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM if the use makes a noise of more than 5 dB(A) above the background noise level
  • from 10:00 PM to midnight if the use makes a noise of more than 3 dB(A) above the background noise level.

Open-air event

An open-air event is an open-air competition, concert, display, race or other activity.

An occupier of premises must not use the premises for an open-air event on any day:

  • before 7:00 AM if the use causes audible noise
  • from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM if the use causes noise of more than 70 dB(A)
  • from 10:00 PM to midnight if the use causes noise of more than the lesser of the following:

Outdoor shooting ranges

A person must not operate an outdoor shooting range between:

  • 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM on any day, if the noise from the operation is more than:
    • for a range that is normally used at least five days a week, 95 dB(Z) Peak Hold
    • for a range that is normally used four days a week, 100 dB(Z) Peak Hold
    • for a range that is normally used no more than three days a week, 105 dB(Z) Peak Hold.
  • 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM on any day, if the noise from the operation is more than:
    • for a range that is normally used at least five evenings a week, 85dB(Z) Peak Hold
    • for a range that is normally used four evenings a week, 90 dB(Z) Peak Hold
    • for a range that is normally used no more than three evenings a week, 95 dB(Z) Peak Hold.

Power boats

A person must not use a power boat in a waterway for a power boat sport if the use makes audible noise for an affected building for more than a continuous period of two minutes:

  • on a business day or Saturday before 7:00 AM or after 7:00 PM
  • on any other day before 8:00 AM or after 6:30 PM.

A person must not operate a power boat engine (operating an engine includes flushing the engine) at a premise in a way that makes audible noise:

  • on a business day or Saturday before 7:00 AM or after 7:00 PM
  • on any other day before 8:00 AM or after 6:30 PM.

Pumps (other than pool and spa pumps)

An occupier of the premises where pumps, such as air pumps or heating pumps, are located commits an offence under the Environmental Protection Act if they use or allow the use of the pump:

  • after 10:00 PM on any day and before 7:00 AM of the following day, if it makes noise of more than 3 dB(A) above the background level
  • from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on any day if it makes a noise of more than 5 dB(A) above the background level
  • if it makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A) between the hours of 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Pool and spa pumps

An occupier of the premises where pool and spa pumps are located commits an offence under the Environmental Protection Act if they use or allow the use of the pump:

  • after 10:00 PM and before 7:00 AM of the following day, if it makes and audible noise
  • from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on any day if it makes a noise of more than 5 dB(A) above the background level
  • if it makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A) between the hours of 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Refrigeration equipment

A person must not use, or permit use of refrigeration equipment on any day:

  • after 10:00 PM on any day and before 7:00 AM of the following day it makes noise of more than 3 dB(A) above the background level
  • from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on any day if it makes a noise of more than 5 dB(A) above the background level
  • if it makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A) between the hours of 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. 

Regulated devices

Regulated devices includes the following equipment:

  • compressors
  • ducted vacuuming systems
  • generators
  • lawn mowers and whipper snippers
  • impacting tools
  • leaf blowers
  • mulchers
  • oxyacetylene burners
  • electrical, mechanical and pneumatic power drills such as chainsaw, drill, electric grinder or sander, electric welder, nail gun.

These devices must not make an audible notice:

  • on a business day or Saturday before 7:00 AM or after 7:00 PM
  • on a Sunday or public holidays, before 8:00 AM or after 7:00 PM.

These requirements do not apply to registered builders (see Building Work).