Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Noise guide for local government

The Noise Guide for Local Government (20130127NGLG.pdf, 6.51MB) aims to provide practical advice to council officers to assist them in the day-to-day management of local noise problems and the interpretation of existing policy and legislation.

The guide focuses on how to assess and manage the noise issues dealt with by council officers, such as neighbour-to-neighbour problems and those resulting from commercial or small industrial premises.

Importantly, the guide is also aimed at planners. It outlines planning considerations that can have a significant bearing on the prevention of future noise problems.

The guide is advisory in nature and council officers are encouraged to use it to develop their procedures and policies to deal with noise issues relevant to local circumstances.

Note: The guide has been substantially updated since it was printed in October 2010. Users should refer to the information below for the latest advice. An updated hardcopy of the guide will be distributed to all local governments.


  • Part 1 - Framework for noise control (130127NGLGPart1.pdf, 1.19MB) outlines the legal framework for noise control. It includes a handy reference table identifying key noise issues, who is responsible for dealing with them, how they can be managed and where to get further advice on the issue.
  • Part 2 - Noise assessment (130127NGLGPart2.pdf, 1.26MB) describes the key noise assessment procedures that council officers may use when deciding whether noise is a problem. These cover the audibility test, duration of noise test for intruder alarms and the offensive noise test. Advice is also provided on procedures for assessing noise using a sound level meter and when this may be needed to determine if noise is offensive or intrusive.
  • Part 3 - Noise management principles (130127NGLGPart3.pdf, 2.1MB) describes how current planning instruments and policies can prevent noise problems from occurring. It suggests a range of strategies that can be used to control noise at the source, in the transmission path or at the receiver.
  • Part 4 - Regulating noise impacts (130127NGLGPart4.pdf, 711KB) identifies the statutory processes that are available to avoid or control noise. It provides up-to-date advice on noise offences, penalties, warning requirements, and how to use regulatory tools like Noise Control and Prevention Notices.
  • Part 5 - Appendixes (130127NGLGPart5.pdf, 1.2MB) 
    o Appendix 1 Technical notes
    o Appendix 2 Templates for notices
    o Appendix 3 Installation of air conditioners, heat pump water heaters, pool/spa pumps and rain water tank pumps - preventing noise impacts on neighbouring properties
    o Appendix 4 Air conditioner noise
    o Appendix 5 Noise from swimming and spa pools
  • Part 6 - Glossary, further reading and index (130127NGLGPart6.pdf, 287KB)

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Page last updated: 11 May 2016