Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 No 156
Current version for 14 May 2020 to date (accessed 26 May 2020 at 01:17)
Chapter 8 Part 8.6
Part 8.6 Noise—special provisions
Division 1 Noise control notices—regulatory authorities
263   Definition of “appropriate regulatory authority”
For the purposes of this Division, the marine authority is the appropriate regulatory authority in relation to—
(a)  vessels in navigable waters, and
(b)  premises used in connection with vessels and situated adjacent to, or partly or wholly over, navigable waters.
264   Noise control notices relating to premises
(1)  This section applies to—
(a)  the person who is the occupier of any premises, or
(b)  the person who carries on or proposes to carry on an activity at any premises or who uses or operates or proposes to use or operate an article at any premises.
(2)  The appropriate regulatory authority may, by notice in writing given to such a person, prohibit the person from causing, permitting or allowing—
(a)  any specified activity to be carried on at the premises, or
(b)  any specified article to be used or operated at the premises,
or both, in such a manner as to cause the emission from the premises at all times or on specified days, or between specified times on all days or on specified days, of noise that, when measured at any specified point (whether within or outside the premises), is in excess of a specified level.
(3)  If, in a noise control notice, there is no reference to the times or days during or on which the prohibition imposed by the notice is to operate, the prohibition operates at all times.
(4)  Nothing in this section affects the power under this Act to attach conditions to an environment protection licence.
265   Offence to contravene noise control notice
(1)  A person who contravenes a noise control notice is guilty of an offence.
(2)  A person is not guilty of an offence unless it is established that the alleged offence resulted in the emission, from the premises to which the alleged offence relates, of noise that was able to be detected or perceived outside those premises without the aid of an instrument, machine or device.
Maximum penalty—
  in the case of a corporation—$60,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of $6,000 for each day the offence continues, or
  in the case of an individual—$30,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of $600 for each day the offence continues.
266   Revocation or variation of noise control notices
A noise control notice may be revoked or varied by the appropriate regulatory authority by a further notice under this Division.
267   Commencement of operation of noise control notices
(1)  A noise control notice operates from the day the notice is given or from such later day as the notice specifies.
(2)  If an appeal is made against a noise control notice and the Land and Environment Court directs that the notice is stayed, the notice does not operate until the stay ceases to have effect or the Land and Environment Court confirms the notice or the appeal is withdrawn, whichever first occurs.
267A   Fee
(1)  The purpose of this section is to enable a regulatory authority to recover the administrative costs of preparing and giving noise control notices.
(2)  A person who is given a noise control notice by a regulatory authority must within 30 days pay the prescribed fee to the authority.
(3)  The regulatory authority may—
(a)  extend the time for payment of the fee on the application of a person to whom subsection (2) applies, or
(b)  waive payment of the whole or any part of the fee on the authority’s initiative or on the application of a person to whom subsection (2) applies.
(4)  The fee is not payable during the currency of an appeal against the noise control notice.
(5)  A fee is not payable on the variation or revocation of a noise control notice.
(6)  If the decision of the Court on an appeal does not invalidate the noise control notice, the fee is payable within 30 days of the decision.
(7)  A person who does not pay the fee within the time provided under this section is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty (subsection (7)): 200 penalty units.
267B   Compliance costs
(1)  The appropriate regulatory authority that gives a noise control notice to a person may, by notice in writing (in this section referred to as a compliance cost notice), require the person to pay all or any reasonable costs incurred by the authority in connection with—
(a)  monitoring action under the notice, and
(b)  ensuring that the notice is complied with, and
(c)  any other associated matters.
(2)  A regulatory authority may recover any unpaid amounts specified in a compliance cost notice as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3)  If the person given a compliance cost notice complies with the notice but was not the person who caused the noise, the cost of complying with the notice may be recovered by the person who complied with the notice as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction from the person who caused the noise.
Division 2 Noise abatement orders—Local Court
268   Issue of noise abatement orders
(1)  The occupier of any premises may apply to the Local Court for an order under this section.
(2)  The application is to be commenced by the issue of an application notice that alleges that the occupier’s occupation of premises is affected by offensive noise.
(3)  The respondent to the application may be a person alleged to be making or contributing to the noise or the occupier of premises from which the noise is alleged to be emitted.
(4)  If the Local Court is satisfied (on the balance of probabilities) that the alleged offensive noise exists, or that although abated it is likely to recur on the same premises, the Local Court may make either or both of the following orders—
(a)  an order directing the respondent to abate the offensive noise within the time specified in the order,
(b)  an order directing the respondent to prevent a recurrence of the offensive noise.
(5)  Part 4 of the Local Court Act 2007 applies to an application under this section.
269   Contravention of noise abatement order
A person who contravenes a noise abatement order is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty—30 penalty units.
270   Restrictions on noise abatement orders
(1)  A noise abatement order has no force in so far as it is directed to—
(a)  the State or a person acting on behalf of the State, or
(b)  a public authority or a person in the capacity of a member, officer or employee of a public authority, or
(c)  a person or body prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.
(2)  A noise abatement order has no force in so far as it would have the result of affecting—
(a)  any activity carried on by or for the State or a public authority, or
(a1)  any activity carried on by an authorised network operator (within the meaning of the Electricity Network Assets (Authorised Transactions) Act 2015), or
(b)  any scheduled activity, or any other activity or work that is the subject of an environment protection licence, or
(c)  any activity of a class or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.
271   Commencement of operation of noise abatement order
(1)  A noise abatement order operates from the day the order is made or from such later day as the order specifies.
(2)  If an appeal is made against a noise abatement order and the Land and Environment Court directs that the order is stayed, the order does not operate until the stay ceases to have effect or the Land and Environment Court confirms the order or the appeal is withdrawn, whichever first occurs.
272   Revocation or variation of noise abatement orders
A noise abatement order may be revoked or varied by the Local Court.
273   Costs
The Local Court may award costs against any party in proceedings under this Division.
274   (Repealed)
Division 3 Noise abatement directions—police and other authorised persons
275   Definition of “authorised person”
In this Division—
authorised person means—
(a)  in any case—an authorised officer or a police officer, or
(b)  in relation to vessels in navigable waters—an officer or employee of the marine authority authorised by the marine authority for the purposes of this Division.
276   Issue of noise abatement directions
If it appears to an authorised person that offensive noise is being, or has at any time within the past 7 days been, emitted from any premises, the authorised person may—
(a)  direct the person whom the authorised person believes to be the occupier of the premises to cause the emission of the offensive noise to cease, or
(b)  direct any person whom the authorised person believes to be making or contributing to the making of the noise to cease making or contributing to the making of offensive noise,
or both.
277   Contravention of noise abatement directions
(1)  A person to whom a noise abatement direction has been given under section 276 (a) must not, without reasonable excuse, while the direction remains in force—
(a)  fail to cause the emission of the offensive noise from the premises to cease promptly, or
(b)  at any time within 28 days following the time at which the direction was given (or such shorter period as is specified in the direction), cause or permit offensive noise to be emitted from the premises.
(2)  A person to whom a noise abatement direction has been given under section 276 (b) must not, without reasonable excuse, while the direction remains in force—
(a)  fail to promptly cease making or contributing to the making of the offensive noise, or
(b)  at any time within 28 days following the time at which the direction was given (or such shorter period as is specified in the direction), make or contribute to the making of offensive noise that is emitted from the premises.
(3)  A noise abatement direction does not prevent the emission of noise that is not offensive noise.
(4)  A person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty—30 penalty units.
278   Restrictions on noise abatement directions
(1)  A noise abatement direction (other than a direction given by an authorised officer appointed by the EPA) has no force in so far as it is directed to—
(a)  the State or a person acting on behalf of the State, or
(b)  a public authority or a person in the capacity of a member, officer or employee of a public authority, or
(c)  a person or body prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.
(2)  A noise abatement direction (other than a direction given by an authorised officer appointed by the EPA) has no force in so far as it would have the result of affecting—
(a)  any activity carried on by or for the State or a public authority, or
(a1)  any activity carried on by an authorised network operator (within the meaning of the Electricity Network Assets (Authorised Transactions) Act 2015), or
(b)  any scheduled activity, or any other activity or work that is the subject of an environment protection licence, or
(c)  any activity of a class or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.
279   Revocation of noise abatement directions
A noise abatement direction may be revoked by the person who gave (or could have given) the direction or by a person of a class prescribed by the regulations.
Division 4 Police powers regarding noise
280   Powers of entry by police by warrant
(1) Complaint for and issue of warrant On complaint being made by a police officer to a Magistrate that—
(a)  the police officer has been denied entry to any specified premises, and
(b)  the police officer believes that—
(i)  offensive noise is being emitted from the premises or offensive noise has, within the past 7 days, been emitted from the premises, and
(ii)  it is necessary for a police officer to enter the premises immediately in order to give a noise abatement direction in relation to offensive noise emitted from the premises or to investigate whether a noise abatement direction has been contravened,
the Magistrate may, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for that belief, by warrant, authorise and require the police officer to enter the premises and to give a noise abatement direction or investigate whether a noise abatement direction has been contravened.
(2) Manner of making complaint The complaint may be made by a police officer to the Magistrate in person or by telephone and may be made directly to the Magistrate or, where in all the circumstances it is impracticable to make the complaint directly, by causing the complaint to be transmitted by another police officer by either of those means.
(3) Indirect complaint The fact that the complaint is made to the Magistrate by a police officer who causes the complaint to be transmitted by another police officer to the Magistrate does not, if the Magistrate is of the opinion that it is in all the circumstances impracticable to communicate directly with the police officer making the complaint, prevent the Magistrate being satisfied as to the matters specified in subsection (1).
(4) How warrant granted The Magistrate grants the warrant by stating the terms of the warrant.
(5) Magistrate to make record The Magistrate who grants the warrant is required to cause a record to be made in writing in the prescribed form of—
(a)  the name of the police officer who was the complainant, and
(b)  where the complaint was transmitted by a police officer on behalf of the complainant—the name of the police officer who transmitted the complaint, and
(c)  the details of the complaint, including the name of any person who is alleged to have informed the police as to the offensive noise the subject of the warrant and the grounds relied on by the Magistrate to grant the warrant, and
(d)  the terms of the warrant (which must include the address of the premises the subject of the warrant), and
(e)  the date and time the warrant was granted.
(6) Execution of warrant The warrant is to be executed as soon as practicable after it is granted, but not later than 24 hours after it is granted, and may be executed by day or night.
(7) Use of reasonable force A police officer may use reasonable force (whether by breaking open doors or otherwise) for the purpose of entering premises in executing the warrant.
(8) Use of assistants A police officer may execute the warrant with the aid of such assistants as the police officer considers appropriate.
(9) Warrant not invalidated by minor defects The warrant is not invalidated by any defect, other than a defect that affects the substance of the warrant in a material particular.
(10) Police officer to make record The police officer who was the complainant is required to make a record in triplicate in the prescribed form containing the following particulars—
(a)  the address of the premises the subject of the warrant,
(b)  the name of the Magistrate who granted the warrant,
(c)  the name of the police officer,
(d)  the time at which the warrant was granted.
(11) How police record to be dealt with The copies of the record made under subsection (10) are to be dealt with as follows—
(a)  the first copy is, on entry to the premises the subject of the warrant or as soon as practicable afterwards, if a person who appears to reside at the premises and to be of or above the age of 18 years is present, to be furnished to such a person together with a statement in the prescribed form and containing a summary of the nature of the warrant and the powers given by the warrant,
(b)  the second and third copies are to be endorsed with—
(i)  the name of the person (if any) who informed the police as to the offensive noise the subject of the warrant, and
(ii)  a notation as to whether any premises were entered under the warrant and, if so, the time of entry and the action taken at the premises,
(c)  the second copy is to be forwarded to the Director-General of the Attorney General’s Department or any other officer designated by that Director-General,
(d)  the third copy is to be retained by the police officer authorised to enter the premises under the warrant, to be dealt with in such manner as may be prescribed by the regulations.
(12) Definitions In this section—
Magistrate includes any other person who is an authorised officer within the meaning of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.
telephone includes a radio or another communication device.
281   Powers of police after entry by warrant
(1) Limited powers If a police officer enters any premises under a warrant granted under section 280 for the purpose of giving a noise abatement direction or investigating whether a noise abatement direction has been contravened, the police officer may—
(a)  take only such action at the premises as is reasonably necessary—
(i)  to give the noise abatement direction or investigate whether such an offence has been committed, and
(ii)  to exercise any power under subsection (2) or any lawful power to arrest a person, and
(b)  remain at the premises only as long as is reasonably necessary to take that action.
(2) Giving of names and addresses may be required If a police officer believes on reasonable grounds that offensive noise is being emitted from any premises or offensive noise has, within the past 7 days, been emitted from any premises, the police officer may require any person—
(a)  whom the police officer believes on reasonable grounds to be the occupier of the premises or to be, or to have been, causing or contributing to the emission of the offensive noise, and
(b)  to whom the police officer has given an oral or written warning of that person’s obligation to furnish the information under this Act,
to furnish the police officer with that person’s name and address and with the name and address of the occupier of the premises if that person is not the occupier.
(3) Offences A person—
(a)  who refuses or fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (2), or
(b)  who, in purported compliance with a requirement under subsection (2), furnishes information that the person knows is false or misleading in a material particular,
is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty—30 penalty units.
(4) Defence A person is not guilty of an offence arising under subsection (3) (a) if the person proves that, in so far as the requirement was not complied with, the person was not capable of complying with it.
282   Police powers to seize equipment
(1)  This section applies if a noise abatement direction is in force and the person to whom the direction is given is contravening the direction.
(2)  A police officer may seize or secure any equipment that is being used to contravene the direction. The police officer may not do so unless the person in charge of the equipment has been warned that the continued use of the equipment may lead to its seizure.
(3)  If any such equipment is seized, the police officer is to issue the person from whom it is seized with a receipt that identifies the equipment, states the time and date of seizure, identifies the police officer seizing the equipment and notifies the procedure for the return of the equipment.
(4)  Unless it is returned or released earlier at the discretion of a police officer, any equipment that is seized or secured under this section must be returned or released within 28 days.
(5)  A person is not entitled to any compensation for damage caused to equipment that is seized or secured under this section if the damage occurred as a result of the police officer being obstructed or hindered in seizing or securing the equipment.
283   Other police powers not affected
Nothing in this Division limits any other power that a police officer may have under this or any other Act or at common law to enter or remain at any premises.