Noise can disrupt people's lives causing loss of sleep, interference to activities and emotional stress. The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 specify the permitted sound levels and what is deemed to be unreasonable noise.
Construction noise is exempt from the table of assigned levels set out in the Regulations, provided it meets certain conditions.
For construction work occurring between 7am and 7pm on any day which is not a Sunday or public holiday the following conditions apply:
- the construction work must be carried out in accordance with the control of noise practises set out in section six of the Australia Standards 2436-1981 Guide to Noise Control on Construction, Maintenance and Demolition sites
- the equipment used for the construction work must be the quietest reasonably available
- the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) may request that a noise management plan be submitted for the construction work at any time.
For construction work being undertaken outside the hours specified above the following conditions apply:
- the work must be carried out in accordance with section six of AS 2435-1981
- the equipment used must be the quietest reasonably available
- the builder must advise all nearby occupants of the work to be done at least 24 hours before it commences
- the builder must show that it was reasonably necessary for the work to be done outside of hours
- the builder must submit to the Shire's CEO for approval a noise management plan at least seven days before the work starts. The noise management must detail the:
- need for the work to be done outside of hours
- types of activity which could be noisy
- predictions of noise levels
- control measures for noise and vibration
- monitoring of noise and vibration
- complaint response.
If a builder fails to comply with the above conditions, or with the approved management plan, the noise from the construction site would be treated the same as from any other premises and would need to comply with the assigned levels.