In 2014 Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Water, Land & Planning (DELWP) commenced a review of the two State Environment Protection Policies for noise (the noise SEPPs):
- State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Noise from Industry, Commerce and Trade) No. N-1
- State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) No. N-2 (SEPP N-2).
The noise SEPPs can be found at: epa.vic.gov.au/about-us/legislation/noise-legislation.
What are noise SEPPs?
SEPP N-1 sets limits on commercial and industrial noise. SEPP N-1 applies to commercial and industrial premises, such as factories, shops, restaurants, farms, mines and quarries.
The review of the noise SEPPs includes consideration of the approach to regulating commercial and industrial noise in regional Victoria. Currently, SEPP N-1 only applies in metropolitan Melbourne, while commercial and industrial noise outside metropolitan Melbourne is covered by the EPA guideline Noise from industry in regional Victoria (NIRV).
SEPP N-2 applies to music noise from public premises such as pubs, nightclubs, outdoor entertainment venues, restaurants, public halls, gymnasiums and retail stores. SEPP N-2 covers all of Victoria.
Noise SEPPs review update
Noise External Reference Group
In early 2015, EPA established the Noise External Reference Group (NERG), a forum enabling stakeholders with an interest in the review of the noise SEPPs to contribute to the policy development process.
During November and December 2015, EPA hosted a number of workshops with NERG members, recording valuable input which is now being assessed as part of EPA’s policy development work. The members of the NERG will meet again later in 2016 to discuss the policy options identified following the conclusion of further testing and research.
The NERG feedback builds upon a range of previous research and engagement, which is collectively informing our policy options. This previous work includes:
- 2013 metropolitan Melbourne noise exposure maps project – further information available on request
- 2014 socio/acoustic survey – further information available on request
- 2014 discussion paper and survey – summary of feedback (including copies of all non-confidential submissions)
- 2014 stakeholder workshops – included in the summary of feedback
- 2015–16 NERG meetings – outputs are informing the development of draft policy and policy impact assessment.
EPA is currently assessing the impacts of the existing policy and future policy options.
There will be a second round of consultation on a draft policy and policy impact assessment in late 2016. We will be in contact with all stakeholders to advise how you can be involved.
A major public inquiry (the Inquiry) into EPA commenced on 1 June 2015. The terms of reference can be found on the DELWP website. The Inquiry will look closely at the EPA to establish how the Authority will protect public health, while protecting our precious Victorian environment for future generations. The Inquiry reported to the Minister on 31 March 2016.
Note that, during the Inquiry, EPA and DELWP will work with key stakeholders on the design of a broad range of policy options for a new Noise SEPP. It is recognised that the Inquiry may make recommendations regarding EPA’s role in relation to noise. Accordingly, the timing and broad scope of the SEPP review will allow EPA and DELWP to consider the findings of the Inquiry and Victorian Government response, and to incorporate recommendations into the draft SEPP and Policy Impact Assessment.