Businesses must comply with the general environmental duty to take reasonable steps to minimise harm to human health and the environment from pollution and waste, including noise.

Businesses must not cause unreasonable noise or aggravated noise. They must make sure that any noise from their activities or premises doesn’t unreasonably impact the local community. This includes being responsible for contractors or tradespeople they hire.

Complying with noise limits

Under the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (Part 5.3, Division 3) noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises is unreasonable if it exceeds the noise limits.

Compliance with the noise limits is assessed using the Noise limit and assessment protocol for the control of noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises and entertainment venues (publication 1826) (Noise Protocol).

Aggravated noise is a serious offence and significant penalties apply. Noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises is aggravated noise if it exceeds the noise limit by a certain amount. 

Find out more about commercial, industrial and trade noise limits for business.

About EPA actions to control noise from businesses

EPA uses its remedial powers to deal with risks of harm to human health and the environment and unreasonable noise, including a business exceeding the noise limits. These remedial powers include statutory remedial notices to:

  • take action necessary to comply
  • stop an activity
  • carry out investigations.

Find out more about EPA’s remedial powers.

Read more about commercial, industrial and trade noise

Commercial, industrial and trade noise

Commercial, industrial and trade noise: EPA’s role

Commercial, industrial and trade noise limits

Report commercial or industrial noise

Noise advice for businesses

Reviewed 16 November 2021