Construction noise restrictions tend to vary across different states and territories in Australia. Local councils and government authorities are also able to set their own regulations when it comes to construction noise which may differ from the state or territory requirements.
While it’s important to check the local noise regulations before starting construction, here’s a quick overview of construction noise restrictions around Australia.
New South Wales
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for setting noise limits for construction projects in NSW. The Draft Construction Noise Guideline currently sets out the recommended standard hours for normal construction work as:
- Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm, and
- Saturday from 8am to 1pm.
There’s to be no construction work completed on Sundays or public holidays.
When it comes to construction noise in Victoria, businesses must comply with the general environmental duty (GED) stipulated in the Environment Protection Act 2017. Many local councils also have their own requirements for noise management at construction sites.
As a general rule, construction noise in Victoria is generally restricted to normal working hours:
- Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm, and
- Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.
When it comes to the construction of large-scale residential developments in non-residential zones, the normal working hours extend to 7am to 1pm on Saturdays.
In Queensland, construction noise is regulated under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. The local council is responsible for enforcing construction noise standards unless the construction work is being carried out by a State or local government entity.
If the local council hasn’t prescribed its own noise standards, the default noise standards in the EP Act will apply instead. Under the EP Act, building work being carried out by a registered contractor or builder, or under an owner-builder permit can take place:
- Monday to Saturday from 6.30am to 6.30pm.
Building work that doesn’t create audible noise, like electrical work and painting, can be conducted at any time outside of these hours.
Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT, noise is regulated under the Environment Protection Act 1997 and the Environment Protection Regulation 2005. The ACT is divided into various noise zones, each with its own noise standard for day and night-time.
When it comes to construction and building work, it’s understood that these types of activities are likely to produce noise levels over the acceptable standard. So long as these activities comply with certain conditions, they can be conducted in residential areas.
For building work conducted in residential areas, if it’s likely to be completed in less than 2 weeks, this activity may exceed noise standards from:
- Monday to Saturday from 7am to 8pm, and
- Sunday and public holidays from 8am to 8pm.
If the work is scheduled to take more than 2 weeks, this activity may exceed noise standards from:
- Monday to Saturday from 7am to 6pm, and
- No noise exceeding the standards is allowed on Sundays and public holidays.
For any construction sites located in industrial, city and town centre areas, construction activity may exceed noise standards on any day between 6am and 8pm. Different noise standards may apply for certain activities if a residence:
- Borders non-residential land (EG. a residential block adjacent to local shops), or
- Is located on non-residential land.
Construction activities that generate significant levels of noise should only occur between the hours of 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday. This applies to noise that results from:
- Demolition work, site preparation work and building maintenance or repair work,
- The operation of vehicles within, entering or leaving a construction site, and
- Any activities at, or within the immediate vicinity of a construction site, of persons who perform work at the site, or activity connected with work at the site.
At EPA-licenced facilities, the SA EPA is responsible for managing issues associated with construction.
In WA, the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 provides guidance in relation to construction noise. Essentially, construction work must be carried out between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday. Construction work is prohibited on Sundays and public holidays.
If your site is likely to produce noise outside of daytime hours, you must submit a Noise Management Plan to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The noise restrictions and regulations detailed here should serve as a general guide only. Before starting any construction work, be sure to check with the relevant local council or authorities for more accurate and up-to-date information.
The Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 sets out the regulations for construction work in Tasmania.
Generally, construction noise is limited to:
- Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm,
- Saturday from 8am to 6pm, and
- Sunday and public holidays from 10am to 6pm.
Local councils may have their own restrictions and regulations regarding construction noise.
In the NT, you’ll usually have to submit a Noise Management Plan (NMP) to the NT EPA if your construction project is likely to generate noise that won’t comply with the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998 or the recommended assigned noise levels included in the guideline.
If you’re planning on undertaking normal construction, the recommended standard hours of work are:
- Monday to Saturday from 7am to 7pm, and
- Between 9am and 6pm Sundays or public holidays.
Blasting work on construction sites must be conducted between:
- Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and
- Saturday 9am to 1pm.
No blasting is permitted on Sundays or public holidays.
There may be some instances where construction work is completed outside of the specified times, so it’s essential that you take reasonable steps to notify neighbours of the upcoming work and minimise noise where possible.
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