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. The GED applies to all construction activities. This means those who manage, or control construction and demolition activities must understand and proactively manage the risks of harm from noise to people near their building site.

Also, any person or business must not make unreasonable noise. This applies to all types of construction sites, including construction, demolition, and removal of a residence.

These laws apply to:

  • builders
  • homeowners
  • tenants
  • tradespeople.

Many councils have local laws under the Local Government Act 2020 for construction site noise.

Councils may also have requirements for noise management at construction sites in planning controls under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Unreasonable noise from construction

EPA has published the unreasonable noise guidelines. The guidelines explain the concept of unreasonable noise and the pathways for assessing if construction noise is unreasonable. They also cover how unreasonable noise works with the general environmental duty and provide case study examples of compliance, enforcement and resolution of noise pollution events. 

Repairing and maintaining homes

The Environment Protection Act 2017 and the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 apply to noise from repair and maintenance of an existing building on residential land.

Find out about the residential noise laws.

Constructing major infrastructure projects

EPA also provides guidance for minimising construction noise from major infrastructure projects. These activities should take into consideration the Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834).

Find out more about noise from major infrastructure projects

Read more about construction noise

About construction noise

Construction noise: EPA’s role  

Report construction noise  

About roadworks and major infrastructure noise  

Noise guidance for business: Residential construction

Noise guidance for business: Commercial construction

Noise guidance for business: Land development 

Reviewed 8 May 2023