Environmental Nuisances

Council has responsibility under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to manage environmental nuisances. This responsibility is restricted to nuisances which come from residential or commercial properties that are not caused by the state or local government; or administered by another state department; or an environmentally relevant activity administered by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
 
Environmental nuisance is defined as unreasonable interference (or likely interference) with an environmental value caused by emissions or aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles (including dust) or smoke; or unhealthy, offensive or unsightly conditions caused by contaminations.

Complaints administered by Council

For Council to respond to a complaint, the nuisance must relate to residential or commercial land not regulated by other government agencies.

What Council Will Do

To respond to a complaint Council will require your name and contact details, an address for the location of the alleged nuisance, and detailed information on the nature of the nuisance. 

Council will assess the nature of the complaint to decide the course of action. 

When a compliant is received, Council may contact both parties to inform them of the relevant provisions of the legislation and provide information on the relevant nuisance in an attempt to resolve the issue. The complainant's identity will remain confidential in any correspondence from Council. 

If the nuisance persists, it is expected that you both take some steps to resolve the issue before involving Council again. Talking with your neighbours about your concerns is the best way to resolve any recurring issues. 

If further nuisance complaints are received, Council may undertake an investigation. The investigation includes consideration of the time of nuisance, how long the nuisance lasts, the environmental values of the area, the impact on the environment and the views of the complainants, the respondents and neighbours. 

For more information contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 4913 5000 or 1300 790 919. 

  • Aerosols, fumes, particles and smoke can cause a nuisance to residents and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can negatively affect a person's health and well being. Aerosols, fumes, particles and smoke can come from numerous sources at a residential premise including aerosols from paint cans and other fine mists, fumes from petrol or diesel, dust from construction works and smoke or ash from burning off wastes. Smoke and fumes emitted from cooking are exempt from the nuisance legislation.

    Council does not regulate aerosols, fumes, particles (including dust) or smoke nuisance complaints relating to:

  • Light can cause a nuisance to residents and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can negatively affect a person's health and well being. Light can come from numerous sources including security lights, spot lights and flood lights.

    The following light nuisances are not regulated by Council: 

  • Unwanted noise can negatively affect a person's health and well being. Not only can it cause hearing loss, but it may affect people through annoyance, sleep interference, stress, loss of productivity and a general reduction in the quality of life.

    The actual loudness, including the frequency, tone and vibrations of a sound may only be one component of the effect on people. Other considerations include time, place, duration, source of the sound and whether the person has any control over it.

    The most common noise nuisances are barking dogs; pool and spa pumps; regulated devices such as lawn mowers and power tools; and air conditioning equipment.

    The Environmental Protection Act 1994 places limits on certain activities and the use of certain equipment, these limits are outlined in the Noise Nuisance Guidelines.

    The following noise nuisances are not administered by Council:

    1. Noise from house alarms is regulated by Queensland Police Service.
    2. Noise from loud music and parties is regulated by Queensland Police Service.
    3. Noise from licensed premises such as hotels and nightclubs is regulated by The Office of Liquor Licensing and Gaming Regulation.
    4. Noise from vehicles and trial bikes is regulated by Queensland Police Service.
    5. Noise created by the State Government or Council is administered by the Department of Environment and Science
    6. Noise from non-devolved ERA's is administered by the Department of Environment and Science
  • Odour can cause a nuisance to residents and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can negatively affect a person's health and well being. Odour can come from numerous sources at a residential premise including compost heaps, rotting vegetation, manure, fertilisers and rubbish. Odour emitted from cooking is exempt from the nuisance legislation. Chemical odours can also be associated with commercial premises.

    The following odour nuisances are not regulated by Council:

    1. Odour from non-devolved ERA's is regulated by the Department of Environment and Science
    2. Odour from State or Local Government premises or activities is regulated by the Department of Environment and Science