In October 2008, EPA released the Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2008.
The Regulations replaced the 1997 Residential Noise Regulations, with some changes to the way large scale construction noise is managed. EPA consulted extensively with residents, local government, police and the residential construction industry to develop the Regulations.
The Environment Protection Act 1970 and the Regulations apply to all residential premises under construction, from single homes, to large apartment blocks and the early land preparation work on residential subdivisions. They prescribe items and times when their use is prohibited (see prohibited times for residential noise) if they can be heard in another residence.
In response to stakeholder feedback, the Regulations made changes to the way noise from ‘commercial scale’ residential construction is managed. The changes provide a more flexible and workable regime, improving overall noise outcomes by balancing industry needs with the reasonable expectations of residents, and linking increased flexibility with improved environmental performance.
The key changes are:
- exempting large-scale apartment construction in non-residential zones from the Regulations, providing local governments and industry greater flexibility
- allowing land preparation on large residential subdivisions to start earlier on Saturday mornings with appropriate work practices
- allowing water pumps on residential premises to be audible up till 10 pm, rather than the previous 8 pm restriction
- removing items used for personal care or grooming, or for heating, refrigeration or preparation of food from the prescribed items list.
To view a copy of the Regulations, please see noise related legislation.
Consultation with the community revealed issues in the way neighbours communicate around noise, and how police and councils investigate noise. For more information see the report on the noise publications page.
This consultation led to the publication of our Noise fact sheet (publication 1467), which focuses on community understanding of noise impacts and unreasonable noise.
Future guidance for police and local government will focus on understanding noise impacts and how to best investigate noise matters.