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Air Pollution

Emissions into the air can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can even impact on human health and the environment.
Should you have a problem with air emissions, attempt to discuss the issue directly with the person responsible for the nuisance in order to try and achieve a solution. Give them an appropriate time frame to do something about it. If the situation has not changed after that time, it may then be necessary to contact the appropriate authority.
Council only has jurisdiction to act on certain air pollution issues, and shares the responsibility of air emissions with other government bodies. Please refer to the information below which outlines authorities for various air emission types.

Who to contact

  • Industry with an Environmental Protection licence causing air pollution - Office of Environment and Heritage/NSW EPA (131 555).
  • Industry without an Environmental Protection licence causing air pollution – Council’s Environmental Health Unit (02) 6670 2400.

Dust

For information in regards to Dust please contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit (02) 6670 2400.

Odour

  • Spear pump – Council’s Environmental Health services (02) 6670 2400.
  • Council sewage treatment plant – Council’s Water unit (02) 6670 2400.
  • On-site sewage management system – Council’s Environmental Health services (02) 6670 2400.
  • Dewatering - Council’s Environmental Health services (02) 6670 2400.

Smoke

  • Backyard burning - Operated on residential land and some commercial land - Council’s Environmental Health services (02) 6670 2400.
  • Chimney smoke - Operated on residential land and some commercial land - Council’s Environmental Health services (02) 6670 2400.
  • Cigarette smoke - Contact your local office of NSW Ministry of Health (NSW Health)

Spray Drift

Refer to Chemicals and Pesticides

Further Information

Noise Pollution

Everyone reacts differently to noise. Noise can disturb neighbours, disrupt sleep and interfere with normal daily activities. 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. Noise can even impact on people’s health, especially the very young and the elderly. Should you have a problem with noise, always attempt to discuss the issue directly with the person responsible for the nuisance in order to try and achieve a solution. Give them an appropriate time frame to do something about it. If the situation hasn't changed after that time, it may then be necessary to contact the appropriate authority.

The Office of Environment and Heritage/NSW EPA has a comprehensive website with practical advice on dealing with noise issues and copies of numerous Neighbourhood Noise Information and Brochures that outline steps you can take to prevent noise being an issue for you. You can download these brochures from their site. Council only has jurisdiction to act on certain noise pollution issues, and shares the responsibility of noise control with other government bodies. Please refer to the information below which outline authorities for various noise types.

Neighbourhood Noise (Residential)

Noise queries can be directed to Police or Council. Please be advised that the times below are the times where noise is not permitted.
  1. Power tools and equipment - 8pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays and 8pm to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays
  2. Musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment - Midnight to 8am on Friday, Saturday or any day preceding a public holiday and 10pm to 8am on any other day.
  3. Air conditioners and heat pump water heaters - 10pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays and 10pm to 7am on weekdays
  4. Motor vehicles (except when entering or leaving residential premises) - 8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays and 8pm to 7am on weekdays.
  5. Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles - 8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays and 8pm to 7am on weekdays

Noise other than Neighbourhood (Non-residential)

  1. Industrial/commercial noise
    • Large industrial complexes contact Office of Environment and Heritage/NSW EPA Environment Line phone : 131 555
    • Smaller factories and backyard workshops contact Local Council
    • Commercial premises -ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration contact Local Council
  2. Transport noise
    • Commercial airports and aircraft in flight contact National Noise Inquiry Line on 1300 302 240
    • Aircraft on ground at private and council controlled airports contact Local Council
    • Noisy motor vehicles (including trail bikes) in a public place such as roads, verges and carparks and off road including parks and reserves contact the Office of Environement and Heritage/NSW EPA Environment Line phone 131 555 or Police Assistance Line phone 131 444 or Local Council
    • Road traffic - Local roads contact Local council - Freeways, tollways, main roads contact Roads and Maritime Services phone 1300 308 349
    • Rail noise contact the Office of Environement and Heritage/NSW EPA Environment Line phone 131 555 or Your Say Line phone 1300 656 999
    • Recreational boating, jet skis contact Roads and Maritime phone 131 256
    • Amplified music from vessels contact Roads and Maritime phone 131 256 or Water Police 02 9320 7499 or Local council
  3. Aircraft Noise
    Council does not have any jurisdiction over aircraft or airspace. As a result we are not notified by pilots, aircraft, or the relevant authorities of an aircraft’s destination, origin, purpose or any other details. Customers who wish to pursue a complaint or conduct further investigations in regards to aircraft noise or operations should contact Airservices Australia. They provide a telephone noise enquiry service (1800 802 584) which enables the community to express their concerns about specific aircraft noise events or aircraft noise in general.

Council is also represented on the Aircraft Noise Abatement Consultative Committee. Council also has a role in considering Development Applications within the Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) Contours for Gold Coast Airport as endorsed by Air Services Australia

Note** Approval is generally required to land helicopters on private land within the Shire as Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) requires that development approval is required for the construction of Helipads on private land.

Further information:
For further information in respect to Council’s role in considering Development Applications within the ANEF Contours of Gold Coast Airport contact Council’s Building and Environmental Health Unit.-Contact Council’s Development Services Unit in relation to requirements relating to the construction of Helipads on private land. Ph 02 66 702 400.

4. Public sporting and entertainment venues

  • Motor sports and gun/rifle/pistol clubs contact Local Council
  • Sporting facilities (other than vessels) contact Local Council
  • Aquatic Sporting Events contact Roads and Maritime Services phone 131 256
  • Concert facilities contact Local Council

5. Construction noise

  • Road construction: Freeways and tollways contact the Office of Environement and Heritage/NSW EPA Environment Line phone 131 555, Main roads contact Roads and Maritime Services phone 1300 308 349 and other roads contact Local Council
  • Building construction contact Local Council
  • Major Public Infrastructure contact DECCW Environment Line phone 131 555

6. Neighbourhood noise

  • Noise in public places, animal noise, barking dogs contact Local council or Police Assistance Line on phone 131 444
  • Intruder alarms for buildings and vehicles contact Local council or Police Assistance Line on phone 131 444

How Council can help?

  • Investigate noise complaint to determine the legitimacy of the complaint
  • The noisy partners may be informed and/or warned about the noise and may be asked to take action
  • A formal notice/order may be issued
  • Action may be enforced (penalty notices or Court action if warranted).
Council can serve various notices on people occupying homes and businesses under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act), requiring them to control noise and advising them what noise levels are acceptable. Councils can serve notices for such things as noise from animals, air conditioners, swimming pool pumps, radios, sound reproduction equipment, musical instruments, power tools, lawn mowers and burglar alarms.
The notice can require the noise-making activities to be restricted to certain times of the day or certain days. If the notice is not complied with, the council can prosecute. People who get a notice can appeal against it.

Water Pollution

Water is a scarce and essential natural resource. Conserving and maintaining water quality is especially important in Australia, the world’s driest inhabited continent. Preventing or reducing water pollution protects our water quality and is essential to maintaining the health of our environment and our own quality of life.
Water Pollution means an incident which there is or is likely to be a leak, spill or deposit of refuse, litter, debris or other matter whether solid, liquid or gaseous into or onto, waters, so that the physical, chemical or biological condition of the waters is changed or is likely to make, the waters unclean, noxious, poisonous or impure, detrimental to the health, safety, welfare or property of persons, undrinkable for farm animals, poisonous or harmful to aquatic life, animals, birds or fish in or around the waters or unsuitable for use in irrigation, or obstructs or interferes with, or is likely to obstruct or interfere with persons in the exercise or enjoyment of any right in relation to the waters.
Council only has jurisdiction to act on certain complaints, and shares the responsibility of water pollution issues with other government bodies. Please refer to the information below which outlines authorities for various water pollution types.

Interesting facts about water

  1. Less than 1.5% of the Earth's total supply of water is accessible fresh water.
  2. Every year, polluted water kills more than 24 million people in the developing world. Most of those killed are children.
  3. Industry is only one source of water pollution. Other sources include sewage treatment plants, households, streets and footpaths.
  4. Individuals pollute water by littering (including cigarette butts), pouring oils down drains and using chemicals on their gardens. These pollutants are then washed or blown into stormwater drains and local waterways.

Fish Kills

A fish kill is defined as "any sudden and unexpected mass mortality of wild or cultured fish". Fish kills are often very visible events, which can cause considerable interest and concern to the public because they're often perceived to be the result of pollution or contamination of waters. There are many causes of fish kills and a large proportion are due to natural events. In approximately half the fish kill events, the cause is not known. Where it is known the majority of cases are caused by one of three most common causes are low dissolved oxygen, pesticide/chemical pollution and sewerage discharge or other pollution. For further information please see the NSW Department of Primary Industries Protocol for Investigating and Reporting Fish Kills.

Who to Contact

  • Emergency response to water pollution incidents - Fire and Rescue (000).
  • Pollution of beaches, estuaries, tidal lakes, rivers, creeks, streams and lakes - Councils Environmental Health Services (02) 6670 2400.
  • Sediment and erosion control at construction sites - Councils Environmental Health Unit (02) 6670 2400.
  • Industry holding an Environmental Protection licence causing water pollution - Office of Environment and Heritage/NSW EPA (131 555).
  • Industry without an Environmental Protection licence causing water pollution - Councils Environmental Health Services (02) 6670 2400.
  • Drinking Water - Councils Environmental Health Unit (02) 6670 2400.
  • Fish Kills - Councils Environmental Health Services (02) 6670 2400, NSW Department of Primary Industries – 24 hour hotline 1800 043 536, Office of Environment and Heritqage/NSW EPA 131 555.
  • Algal Blooms - Councils Environmental Health Unit (02) 6670 2400.
  • Pesticides - Office of Environment and Heritage/NSW EPA (131 555).
  • Oil spillage in ports - Roads and Maritime Services (131 256).
  • Discharge from Vessels - Roads and Martime Services (131 256). - Australian Maritime Safety Authority (1800 641 792).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is offensive noise?
The definition of offensive noise in the POEO Act is noise: 
(a) that, by reason of its level, nature, character or quality, or the time at which it is made, or any other circumstances: 
        (i) is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or 
        (ii) interferes unreasonably with (or is likely to interfere unreasonably with) the comfort or repose of a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or 
(b) that is of a level, nature, character or quality prescribed by the regulations or that is made at a time, or in other circumstances, prescribed by the regulations.
Last Updated: 03 October 2017