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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2925

Mr Snedden asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say what Acts have been enacted by (a) each State and (b) the Commonwealth to control noise; if so, what are the major provisions of these Acts including maximum allowable sound levels.

(2)   Can he also say which municipalities in Australia have local government ordinances controlling noise; if so, what are the restrictions imposed by these ordinances.

Dr Cass - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The major legislative provisions are to give regulatory power to guard against excessive noise which may have an adverse health effect or have a nuisance value. The Acts do not specify noise levels, such levels beingincluded in the Regulations derived from the Acts. The following is the situation applying to noise control legislation.


Indirectly, through the Air Navigation Act (1920- 1971), the Noise Certification Standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation are applied to all commercial aircraft certified after March 1972.

Australian Capital Territory

1.   Police Offences Ordinance (1930-1970) Section 11 A.

2.   Motor Traffic Ordinance (1936-1973) Section 187.

3.   Court of Petty Sessions Ordinance (1930-1972) Section 20a.

Northern Territory

Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1949-1971. Other controls are based on nuisance provisions of Police and Police Offences Ordinance 1923-1971.


Currently noise control is by local authorities only. Comprehensive noise control legislation is currently being prepared.

New South Wales

Comprehensive noise control legislation is currently in draft form. Currently, noise control is covered either directly or indirectly by the following Acts.

1.   Local Government Act (1919 as amended).

2.   Motor Traffic Act (1909 as amended).

3.   Factory and Shops Act (1962-1964).

4.   Summary Offences Act (1970).

5.   Liquor Act (1912).

6.   Mining Act.

7.   Public Health Act.

8.   Theatre and Public Halls Act (1908 as amended).

9.   Mines Inspection Act (1901-1968.)

10.   Navigation Act (1901).

11.   Scaffolds and Lifts Act (1912).


Environment Protection Act (1970) part 8 sections 46-48. Other provisionsinclude:

1.   Local Government Act (1958) Section 197.

2.   Health Act (1958) Sections 40-44.

3.   Motor Car Act (1958) Section 83.

4.   Motor Boating Act (1961) Section 25.

5.   Summary Offences Act (1966) Section 4.


The Environment Protection Bill is currently before Parliament. This will provide comprehensive noise controls. Current provisions are included in the Local Government Act and in Traffic Regulations and the Shop Factory and Office Regulations.

South Australia

There is currently being drafted a Noise Abatement Bill. Current controls are by the Health Act and by implication as nuisances in several other Acts.

Western Australia

The main legislation is the Noise Abatement Act (1972). Minor provisions include:

1.   Local Government Act 1960.

2.   Traffic Act.

3.   Factories and Shops Act.

It should be noted that the Australian Environment Council has examined the question of noise pollution and has asked its Emission Sub-committee for a report on standards for noise levels. The information is not readily available.

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