The Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act) and the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) change the way noise emissions are assessed and managed in Victoria.
The Act introduces a duties-based framework, with the general environmental duty (GED) at the centre. The GED requires any person (including businesses) engaging in an activity that may give rise to risks of harm to human health or the environment from pollution or waste to minimise those risks so far as reasonably practicable. Pollution may include the emission of noise.
In addition to the GED, under section 166 and section 168 of the Act respectively, businesses and other duty holders, must not emit, or permit the emission of 'unreasonable noise' or ‘aggravated noise’ from a place or premises that are not residential premises. The Act sets out factors that may establish when noise will be unreasonable. The Regulations also prescribe what is unreasonable noise and aggravated noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises.
EPA guidance does not impose compliance obligations. Guidance is designed to help duty holders understand their obligations under the Environment Protection Act 2017 and subordinate instruments, including by providing examples of approaches to compliance. In doing so, guidance may refer to, restate, or clarify EPA’s approach to statutory obligations in general terms. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on as a statement of the law. Because it has broad application, it may contain generalisations that are not applicable to you or your particular circumstances.
You should obtain professional advice or contact EPA if you have specific concerns. EPA has made every reasonable effort to provide current and accurate information, but does not make any guarantees regarding the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information.
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Reviewed 13 December 2022