The Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act) gives further powers to council officers to regulate residential noise.  

When the new laws commence, these officers will be known as residential noise enforcement officers. Provisions in the new Act mean that officers who were appointed under the previous Act don’t need to be re-appointed.  

What residential noise enforcement officers can do

Under the Act, residential noise enforcement officers can: 

  • issue unreasonable noise directions  
  • issue infringement notices (fines) 
  • start court proceedings for unpaid fines.

Councils can:

  • appoint residential noise enforcement officers
  • issue residential noise improvement notices.

Residential construction noise

Under the Act, EPA delegates powers that allow councils to appoint authorised officers. These officers can issue notices to address residential construction noise that affects nearby residents. This includes construction, demolition or removal noise that occurs at residential premises.

Council residential noise enforcement toolkit

EPA has worked closely with council officers to develop the Regulating Residential Noise: Local government toolkit (publication 1969).

This new toolkit explains the laws for regulating:

  • residential noise and
  • noise from the construction, demolition and removal of residential premises under the Act and Regulations.

The toolkit also covers the role of residential noise enforcement officers (RNEO). It explains the powers and regulatory tools available to investigate and act against individuals or businesses who breach residential noise laws. It also gives RNEOs strategies to deal with noise complaints.

Assessing noise from residential equipment

EPA has developed Noise guideline: Assessing noise from residential equipment (publication 1973) to help residential noise enforcement officers assess noise from residences using the definition of unreasonable noise in section 3(1) of the Environment Protection Act 2017.

This guideline applies to noise from fixed equipment, such as air conditioners, heaters, hot water systems, exhaust fans and water pumps. It replaces the following parts of the Noise control guidelines (publication 1254):

  • Section 1 - fixed domestic plant and home occupation noise.
  • Section 17 -noise assessment technique.

Read more

Community noise

Residential noise and the law

Noise legislation

Reviewed 19 October 2021