Noise control

Noise is based on individual perceptions, and what is annoying to one person may be barely noticed by another.


Responsible regulatory authorities

The first step in resolving any issue regarding noise is to discuss the matter with the person creating the noise. Solutions can often be found that satisfy everyone, without involving regulatory authorities.

The regulatory authorities responsible for enforcing noise laws in Queensland vary according to the source and location of the noise. The below tables summarise the responsible authorities in Queensland and includes the relevant contact details.

Table 1: Power tools and other regulated devices

Lawn mowers, air conditioners, pool and spa pumps etc

Noise Type Authority Contact
Residential Land Council (07) 3205 0555
Commercial Council (unless a State or Council run activity - then DEHP) (07) 3205 0555 or
1300 130 372

Table 2: Animal noise

Noise Type Authority Contact
Domestic Animals Council (07) 3205 0555
Commercial Boarding Kennels Council (07) 3205 0555
Wild or Native Animals DEHP - National Parks & Wildlife 1300 130 372

Table 3: Amplified/Musical noise

Noise Type Authority Contact
Musical Noise, Parties, Rowdy Behaviour Queensland Police Contact your local police station
Concert/Event Noise Council (07) 3205 0555
Megaphones or Public Address Systems Council (07) 3205 0555
Burglar Alarms Queensland Police Contact your local police station

Table 4: Liquor licensed premises noise

Noise Type Authority Contact
All noise issues involving licensed premises Dept of Tourism, Racing & Fair Trading
– Liquor Licensing Division
1300 658 030

Table 5: Aircraft noise

Noise Type Authority Contact
All noise associated with aircraft Air Services Australia 1800 802 584

Table 6: Building work

Noise Type Authority Contact
Residential Council (07) 3205 0555
Commercial Council (07) 3205 0555

Table 7: Vehicles/Motor bike noise

Noise Type Authority Contact
On Private Land Queensland Police Contact your local police station
Traffic on Major Arterial Roads Dept of Main Roads (07) 3834 2011
Traffic on Minor Roads Queensland Police Contact your local police station
Race Tracks Council (07) 3205 0555
Noisy Vehicles Queensland Transport 13 23 80

Table 8: Power boats on water

Noise Type Authority Contact
Boat noise - canals, rivers, other Council (07) 3205 0555

Table 9: Environmentally relevant activities

Noise Type Authority Contact
Council Regulated ERA Council (07) 3205 0555
DEHP Regulated ERA DEHP 1300 130 372

Environment Protection Act 1994

To create a level of consistency in the monitoring of noise, a set of laws have been developed within the Environmental Protection Act 1994. These laws take into account the quantitative volume of noise, time, place and the frequency of the noise.

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 specifies a number of noise sources that local government are responsible for administering, including:

Air-Conditioning equipment

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

  • After 10.00pm on any day and before 7.00am of the following day it makes noise of more than 3dB(A) above the background level; or
  • From 7.00pm to 10.00pm on any day if it makes a noise of more than 5dB(A) above the background level; or
  • If it makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A) between the hours of 7.00am to 7.00pm

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 7.00am or after 10.00pm; or
  • On any other day, before 8.00am or after 6.00pm.

Blasting

A person must not conduct blasting if:

  • The air blast overpressure is more than 115 dB Z Peak for 4 out of any 5 consecutive blasts; or
  • The air blast overpressure is more than 120 dB Z Peak for any blast; or
  • The ground vibration is:
    • for vibrations of more than 35Hz, more than 25mm a second ground vibration, peak particle velocity; or
    • 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 6.30am or after 6.30pm.
  • On any other day, at any time.

Indoor venue 

An indoor venue is a building used for musical, sporting, entertainment, cultural or religious activities. An indoor activity does not include however, 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 7.00am or after midnight if the use makes an audible noise; or
  • From 7.00am to 10.00pm if the use makes a noise of more than 5 dB(A) above the background noise level; or
  • From 10.00pm 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 7.00am if the use causes audible noise; or
  • From 7.00am to 10.00pm if the use causes noise of more than 70 dB(A); or
  • From 10.00pm to midnight if the use causes noise of more than the lesser of the following:
    • 50 dB(A); or
    • 10 dB(A) above the background level.
     

Outdoor shooting ranges 

A person must not operate an outdoor shooting range between:

  • 6.00am and 6.00pm on any day, if the noise from the operation is more than:
    • for a range that is normally used at least 5 days a week, 95 dB Z Peak Hold; or
    • for a range that is normally used 4 days a week, 100 dB Z Peak Hold; or
    • for a range that is normally used no more than 3 days a week, 105 dB Z Peak Hold.
     
  • 6.00pm and 10.00pm on any day, if the noise from the operation is more than:
    • for a range that is normally used at least 5 evenings a week, 85 dB Z Peak Hold; or
    • for a range that is normally used 4 evenings a week, 90 dB Z Peak Hold; or
    • for a range that is normally used no more than 3 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 2 minutes:

  • On a business day or Saturday before 7.00am or after 7.00pm; or
  • On any other day before 8.00am or after 6.30pm.

A person must not operate* a power boat engine at a premises in a way that makes audible noise:

  • On a business day or Saturday before 7.00am or after 7.00pm; or
  • On any other day before 8.00am or after 6.30pm.

* Note: Operating an engine includes flushing the engine

Pumps  

Pumps can be electrical, mechanical or pneumatic devices such as swimming and spa pool pumps, air pumps or heating pumps. An occupier of the premises where the pump is located commits an offence under the Environmental Protection Act if:

  • After 10.00pm and before 7.00am of the following day, if it makes an audible noise; or
  • From 7.00pm to 10.00pm on any day if it makes a noise of more than 5dB(A) above the background level; or
  • If it makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A) between the hours of 7.00am to 7.00pm.

Refrigeration equipment 

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

  • After 10.00pm on any day and before 7.00am of the following day it makes noise of more than 3dB(A) above the background level; or
  • From 7.00pm to 10.00pm on any day if it makes a noise of more than 5dB(A) above the background level; or
  • If it makes a noise of more than 50 dB(A) between the hours of 7.00am to 7.00pm.

Regulated devices 

Regulated devices include such items as lawnmowers, generators, power tools and compressors. These devices must not make an audible noise:

  • On a business day or Saturday before 7.00am or after 7.00pm.
  • On any other day, before 8.00am or after 7.00pm.

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

 

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