Environment Nuisance Environment Nuisance

Council receives numerous enquiries regarding nuisance complaints and restrictions within the Council area. The following information aims to answer some of the more common questions asked by residents.

Local Government powers under the Environmental Protection Regulations are restricted to a nuisances which come from a residential or commercial property unless the property or activity is licensed by another government agency. For example, an environmentally relevant activity that holds a licence with the Department of Environment & Resource Management (DERM), is regulated by them.

On receipt of a complaint, Council will write to both parties and inform them of the relevant provisions of the legislation. Fact sheets relevant to nuisance are also provided. If further complaints on the issue are received, officers will inspect and investigate the validity of the complaint.

Which Complaints are Administered by Council?
For council to respond to an environmental nuisance complaint, it must relate to an emission from residential or commercial land not covered by other government agencies. Generally, the complaint can be about any emission, including ash, dust, fumes, noise, odour or smoke.

Note: Backyard burning is not permitted within built up areas, particularly if complaints regarding a smoke nuisance are made.

Which Complaints are NOT Administered by Council?

  1. Noise from loud music, which remains a Police issue.
  2. Noise from loud parties, which remains a Police issue.
  3. Noise from vehicles, which remains a Police issue.
  4. Noise from boats and jet skis are the responsibility of the Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP).

Nuisance Factsheets
 

A set of factsheets on different types of nuisances has been developed for residents' information. Please visit our Fact Sheet page.

A Point Worth Noting
 

Making a minor complaint about a neighbour to a State or Local Government agency can often do more harm than good. A little tolerance goes a long way so if possible, discuss your mutual concerns. With all the goodwill in the world, it is acknowledged that there are times when assistance from a third party is necessary.


Noise Nusiance Complaints

Noise is unwanted sound - barking dogs, loud music, passing traffic. Everyone reacts differently to noise. What can be unbearable for one person may pass almost unnoticed by another. How annoyed we become depends on the loudness, time, place and frequency of the noise.

What if there's a noise nuisance in my neighbourhood?

In most cases the best way to resolve a noise issue is through polite and productive communication  between yourself and the person causing the noise. If you haven't already spoken with the person about the noise, we strongly recommend you try this approach first.

Another option is to print out the Noise Nuisance Neighbourhood Handout (download), fill in your details (this is optional) and place it in the persons letterbox. If you have concerns about approaching or entering communication with the person, or these measures have proven ineffective, you can report the problem to Council, with the address or the location of the property, by phoning (07) 4977 6821 and we will begin our investigation.

How Council deals with Noise Nuisance

The Environmental Protection Act 1994, introduced by the State Government includes guidelines for noise nuisances. Council is legally required to enforce these limits when the noise is emitted from premises. There are factors which will be considered when determining whether a noise nuisance is being caused which include:
 

  • The day of the week and time at which the noise is occurring;
  • The amount of noise being emitted;
  • The duration and rate of emission and the noise characteristics, and qualities;
  • The sensitivity of the environment into which the noise is being emitted and the impact that it has or may have; and
  • Views of any other neighbours or complainants.

Council will investigate a Noise Nuisance issue upon receiving a customer request. If the noise is found to be a nuisance, Council may issue the person or business causing the noise with a ‘direction notice' or an on the spot fine. A direction notice details what offence has taken place, and the time frame that the offender has to rectify the problem. If a direction notice is not complied with, Council may then issue an on-the-spot fine.
It is important to note that achieving compliance under this process sometimes takes in excess of six weeks.

For further information on how you can reduce a noise nuisance or Council deals with a Noise Nuisance and refer to our General Noise Nuisance Factsheet (Download) or for more specfic information refer to Factsheets listed below:

Noise Nuisance Guidelines

Category Prohibited Times & Noise Criteria

Building Works
(holds a licence under QBSA)

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not make audible noise from the building work:
a) on a Sunday or public holiday, at any time; or
b) on a Saturday or a business day, before 6.30am or after 6.30pm

Regulated Devices
(lawn mower, power tools, etc)

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not operate a regulated device in a way that makes audible noise:
a) on a Sunday or public holiday, before 8am or after 7pm; or
b) on a Saturday or a business day, before 7am or after 7pm

Pumps
(including spa and pool pumps)

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not use or allow use:
a) Before 7am or after 10pm on any day, if the noise is audible
b) From 7am to 7pm on any day, if the noise is more than 5dB(A) above background; or
c) From 7pm to 10pm on any day, if the noise is more than 3dB(A) above background

Air-Conditioning

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not use or allow use:
a) From 7am to 10pm on any day, if the noise is more than 5dB(A) above background noise levels; or
b) Before 7am or after 10pm on any day, if the noise is more than 3dB(A) above background.

Refrigeration Equipment

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not use or allow use
a) Before 7am or after 10pm on any day if the noise is more than 3dB(A) above background; or
b) From 7am to 10pm on any day if the noise is more than 5dB(A) above background noise levels.

Indoor Venues

 

Must not use or allow use:
a) Before 7am on any day if the noise is audible; or
b) From 7am to 10pm on any day if the noise is more than 5dB(A) above background; or
c) From 10pm to midnight, if the noise is more than 3dB(A) above the background level.

Open-Air Event

 

Must not use or allow use:
a) Before 7am on any day if the noise is audible; or
b) From 7am to 10pm on any day if the noise is more than 70dB(A); or
c) From 10pm to midnight, if the use causes noise of more than the lesser of 50dB(A) or 10dB(A)
above the background level.

Amplifier Devices

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not use or allow use:
a) On a business day from 7am to 10pm or any other day between 8am – 6pm, if the noise is more
than 10dB(A) above background level; or
b) Before 7am or after 10pm on a business day or;
c) Before 8am or after 6pm on any other day.

Power Boat Sports

 

 May not use or allow use for a continuous period of two minutes:
a) Saturday, Sunday or public holidays before 8am or after 6.30 pm if the noise is audible; or
b) On a business day before 8am or after 6.30pm if the noise is audible.
Note: Time limits apply for allowable noise.

Power Boat Engine on
Premises

Fact Sheet (Download)

Must not use or allow use:
a) On a Sunday or public holiday before 8am or after 6:30pm or;
b) On a Saturday or business day before 7am or after 7pm.
 

 

When all else fails, you can contact the;

DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTRE

Courts Precinct - 46 East Street
(PO Box 542) Rockhampton  Q  4700
Phone:  07 4938 4249    Fax:  07 4938 4294 
Website: www.justice.qld.gov.au

The Centre is a Government provided free mediation and facilitation service, which deals with workplace, family, neighbourhood, commercial, organisational, environmental and multi-party disputes.

Contact Council's Environmental Health Unit:
Phone:       (07) 4977 6821
Fax:            (07) 4975 8500
Email:         info@gladstonerc.qld.gov.au
Address:     PO Box 29, Gladstone DC Qld 4680
In Person:   Gladstone Office, 101 Goondoon Street, Gladstone