Environmental Nuisance

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

Local Government powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 are restricted to nuisances which come from a residential or commercial property unless the property or activity is overseen by another Government Agency. For example, a nuisance from a property that holds an Environmental Authority with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) is regulated by that Department, and not Council.

On receipt of a bona fide complaint, Council will generally 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 further investigate the validity of the complaint. For more serious offences Direction Notices and fines of up to $2277.00 may apply.

What is an environmental nuisance?

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 states that an:

Environmental nuisance is unreasonable interference or likely interference with an environmental value caused by -

  • Aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour or particles of smoke; or
  • An unhealthy, offensive or unsightly condition because of contamination

When investigating a nuisance complaint Council Officeers must make an assessment under the general emission and/or noise emission criteria to determine an offence. Criteria examples include:

  • The amount of aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles of smoke being emitted
  • The duration and rate of emission and the aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles of smoke characteristics and qualities
  • The sensitivity of the enfironment into which the aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles of smoke is being emitted and the impact it has had or may have; and
  • The views of any other neighbours
Please note: Council may require the customer to complete a diary for a period of time to assist in assessing the nuisance against the above criteria.
Which Complaints are NOT administered by Council?

 

NUISANCE TYPE 
RELEVANT CONTACT
Noise from parties, cars, house alarms and trail bikes on private land

Call Police Link on 131 444
https://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/policelink/

Noise from licensed premises such as hotels or nightclubs
Contact the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General on (07) 3224 7108 or email compliance@olgr.qld.gov.au or visit their website: http://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/liquor-gaming/liquor/compliance-licensees/noise-restrictions 
Noise from an aircraft
Contact your local office of Air Services Australia
Website: http://airservicesaustralia.com/contact-us
Noise from a vehicle
Contact your local office of Queensland Transport & Main Roads
Website: http://tmr.qld.gov.au/About-us/Contact-us.aspx 
Traffic noise on major arterial roads
Contact your local office of Queensland Transport & Main Roads
Website: http://tmr.qld.gov.au/About-us/Contact-us.aspx
Smoke nuisances from sugar cane

Contact the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services (note: QFRS may delegate these investigations to Council where the nuisance does not conflict with the Fire & Emergency Services Act 1990).
Website: https://fire.qld.gov.au
For further information on sugar cane burning practices in our region please see the Fact Sheet courtesy of Bundaberg Canegrowers Ltd
Website: http://www.bdbcanegrowers.com.au/pages.php?pid=12

Smoke from a vehicle
Contact your local office of Queensland Transport & Main Roads
Website: http://tmr.qld.gov.au/About-us/Contact-us.aspx
Bushfire smoke
Contact your local office of Queensland Fire & Emergency Services
Website: https://fire.qld.gov.au 
Cigarette smoke
Contact Queensland Health on 13health (13 43 25 84)
Website: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/public-health/topics/atod/tobacco-laws/default.asp on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
Spray drift from agricultural land
Contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) on 1300 369 915
Website: http://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/agriculture/land-management/chemical-controls/spray-drift-issues/who-report-spray-drift
Any nuisance from a property that holds an Environmental Authority with the Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP)

Common activities in our region with/requiring an Environmental Authority with DEHP include: 

  • Sugar milling and refining
  • Cattle feed lotting
  • Timer milling
  • Aquaculture
  • Alcohol and beverage production
  • Extractive and screening activities; and
  • Metal foundry operations
For enquiries please contact DEHP Pollution Hotline on 1300 130 372
Nuisance Fact Sheets

For information on Council's regulated nuisances, a range of Fact Sheets can be found below:

1. Air pollution - includes dust, smoke and odours

Residential backyard burning - open air fires - Fact Sheet MD-7-221
For all other types of air pollution nuisances please select the relevant Fact Sheet on the Local Government Toolbox website - http://www.lgtoolbox.qld.gov.au/BundabergRC/EH/AirPollution/Pages/ToolsandResources.aspx 

2.  Noise Pollution 

Residential and building noise nuisance (general) - Fact Sheet MD-6-016
For all other types of noise pollution nuisances please select the relevant Fact Sheet on the Local Government Toolbox website - http://www.lgtoolbox.qld.gov.au/BundabergRC/EH/NoisePollution/Pages/ToolsandResources.aspx 

How to make an inquiry or customer request

For further information regarding the above fact sheets, or to make a request concerning a particular issue, please call Council on 1300 883 699. 

FEATURE LINKS