Environmental Nuisances

Under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 an environmental nuisance means the emission of a pollutant that unreasonably interferes with, or is likely to unreasonably interfere with, a person’s enjoyment of the environment. This includes things such as:

  • Noise
  • Odour
  • Smoke
  • Litter
  • A gas, liquid or solid

Under the Local Government Act 1993 a nuisance is defined as anything that:

  • causes, or is likely to cause, danger or harm to the health, safety or welfare of the public;
  • causes, or is likely to cause, a risk to public health;
  • gives rise to unreasonable or excessive levels of noise or pollution;
  • is, or is likely to be, a fire risk; or
  • constitutes an unsightly article or rubbish.

If you are concerned about an environmental nuisance you can contact Council and we will investigate the complaint if you provide the following:

  • contact details, including name, phone number and address;
  • the address at which the nuisance is occurring;
  • details about the nuisance;
  • details about how the nuisance is impacting on your enjoyment of the environment; and
  • the steps you have already taken to resolve the issue before contacting Council. Some people may not be aware that they are causing a nuisance. A chat with your neighbour may resolve the issue.

Noise

Noise pollution is sound at a level that is annoying, distracting or physically harmful. This can mean different things to different people.

In residential areas, an acceptable level of noise for one person may be unacceptable to another. A person’s reaction to noise may also depend on the time of the day and the nature of the noise.

Typical problems include the use of noisy items such as power tools, gardening equipment, poorly located air conditioners, music system subwoofers, or people talking loudly outdoors at a late-night party.

The general approach to residential noise management in Tasmania is that a person’s use of noise-making equipment, as well as their recreational activities, must not unreasonably interfere with their neighbour’s wellbeing. This includes the neighbour’s ability to use both indoor and outdoor spaces on their property.

To assist in protecting the community from unwanted noise, ‘Permissible Hours of Use’ have been established for machinery commonly used in garden and home maintenance, building and recreational activities.

Residential Noise and Permissible Hours of Use

The Environment Protection Authority set out permissible hours for various types of machinery that is commonly used on residential properties. These Permissible Hours of Use have been established for machinery commonly used in garden and home maintenance, building and recreational activities.

Machinery cannot be used outside the Permissible Hours of Use if it can be heard, or is likely to be heard, within a habitable room in another home (e.g. in a living room or a bedroom).

Type

Permissible Hours of Use

Lawnmowers and other power garden maintenance equipment

Monday to Friday: 7am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 8pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am to 8pm

Chainsaws
(Note: may be used for domestic garden maintenance on only one day in any 7 consecutive days)

Monday to Friday: 7am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am to 6pm

Musical instruments and sound amplifying equipment

Monday to Thursday: 7am to 10pm
Friday: 7am to midnight
Saturday: 9am to midnight
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am to 10pm

Motor vehicles, motor vessels & outboard motors
(unless moving in and out of premises)

Monday to Friday: 7am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am to 6pm

Portable apparatus 
(e.g. power and percussion tools, compressors, pumps, generators and cement mixers)

Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am to 6pm

Mobile machinery, forklift trucks and industrial motor vehicles
(e.g. tractors, graders, rollers & cranes)

Monday to Friday: 7am to 6pm
Saturday: 8am to 6pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am to 6pm

Other environmental nuisances

The EPA have several resources available for advice on environmental nuisances, including definitions, regulations and complaint resolution processes. Please visit the relevant sites below for up to date information.

Air, Smoke & Odour nuisances 

Water contamination and Sewerage Related nuisances 

Contaminated Site and Illegal dumping 

Noise related nuisances

Illegal dumping of litter