The EPA has released a discussion paper on the review of environmental nuisance provisions within Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Regulation 1998 which is intended to improve clarity and functionality for both local governments and the EPA when administering and enforcing the legislation.
Issues of interest include:
- Determining who has jurisdictional responsibility in relation to noise from vehicles. One of the solutions suggested in the discussion paper involves providing an exemption from the nuisance provisions for noise from vehicles, other than vehicles with refrigeration equipment.
- Uncertainty in relation to noise criteria and jurisdictional responsibility for liquor licensing, indoor venue and open-air events. Solutions canvassed in the discussion paper include extending the responsibility of the Liquor Licensing Division to all noise sources (including noise from air conditioners and refrigerators) from licensed premises, providing an exemption from the nuisance provisions for all premises with a licence or permit under the Liquor Act, and amending the noise criteria in the Liquor Regulation to be consistent with the nuisance provisions.
- The need to more clearly define the extent of nuisance provisions for noise from indoor venues (a building used for musical, sporting or other entertainment or for cultural or religious activities).
- Confusion as to the treatment of nuisance issues in relation to environmental authorities, development approvals and building work and the significance of noise conditions in a development approval for residential compare to commercial building works. A suggested solution is that nuisance provisions apply to the construction phase of residential, commercial or industrial activity, unless specific conditions have been issued on the development approval.
- The suggested introduction of a mechanism to allow local governments to make local laws which are inconsistent with the nuisance legislation to reflect local circumstances and amend the legislation so that the nuisance provisions do not apply when a local law already addresses that nuisance provision.
- The suggested clarification of the definition of residential land to more clearly determine the powers devolved to local government.
Comments on the discussion paper are intended to be analysed and used as the basis for the development of proposed legislative amendments with further opportunities for consultation expected during the refinement and drafting process. Copies of the discussion paper are available at www.epa.qld.gov.au.