For Weipa to remain a nice place to live, work and visit, we need to be mindful of environmental nuisances that can impact our quality of life. Some of these nuisances are the responsibility of Weipa Town Authority (WTA), while others are not.
Nuisances which are not WTA's responsibility
Some nuisances are regulated by other government agencies, including:
- Noise, light, dust and odour nuisances from commercial or industrial activities (including those which have an environmental licence). These are regulated by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP). To contact DEHP click here or phone 1300 130 372.
- Noise from music, parties, and vehicles (including quad bikes and motorbikes). These are regulated by the Queensland Police Service (QPS). To contact the QPS, phone 07 4090 6000 or Policelink on 131 444.
- All other vehicle nuisances including driving cars, quads or motorbikes on roads, green belts or public land are regulated by the Queensland Police Service. To contact the QPS, call 07 4090 6000 or contact Policelink on 131 444. In an emergency, contact 000.
- Noise from licensed premises. This is regulated by the Department of Justice and Attorney General. To lodge a complaint, you must complete an online form from the DJAG website. You may also wish to contact the QPS in Weipa on (07) 4090 6000.
There are legal limits on the amount and type of noise made in our community, as well as restrictions on the times noise can be made. These laws try to provide a balance between the protection of our quality of life, and the reasonable pursuit of activities that have the potential to annoy others.
WTA regulates excessive noise including:
- Air-conditioning units 7am – 10pm noise no louder than 5dB(A) above background noise level and 10pm – 7am no more than 3 dB(A) above the background noise level
- Amplifiers (e.g. loudhailers) Monday to Saturday 7am – 10pm no more than 10dB(A) above the background level and 10pm – 7am no audible noise permitted. Sunday and Public holidays 8am – 6pm no more than 10dB(A) above the background level and 6pm – 8am no audible noise
- Power boat engines (on land) Monday to Saturday 7pm – 7am no audible noise permitted Sunday and Public holidays and 6:30pm – 8am no audible noise
- Pumps including pool and spa pumps 7am – 7pm Noise no louder than 5dB(A) above background noise level, 7pm – 10pm No more than 3 dB(A) above the background noise level and 10pm – 7am No audible noise permitted
- Regulated devices including motor mowers, leaf blowers, power tools etc.
- Building works Monday to Saturday 6.30am – 6.30pm noise from building work allowed, 6.30pm – 6.30am no audible noise permitted and Sundays and Public Holidays – No audible noise permitted
- Refrigeration activities 7am – 10pm no more than 5dB(A) above the background level and 10pm – 7am no more than 3dB(A) above the background level
- Open Air Events Midnight – 7am no audible noise permitted, 7am – 10pm no more than 70dB(A) and 10pm – midnight no more than the lesser of the following 50dB(A) and 10dB(A) above the background level
- Indoor venues 7am – 10pm no more than 5dB(A) above the background level, 10pm – midnight no more than 3dB(A) above the background level and Midnight – 7am no audible noise permitted
Guide To Decibel Levels
Some noise regulations include a maximum loudness in decibels. Here are usual decibel levels for everyday situations:
- quiet room in the house – 20 to 30 decibels
- daytime in a quiet residential street – 35 to 45 decibels
- large busy office – 50 to 60 decibels
- lawn mower from 15 metres away – 70 decibels
Lighting is often important in urban areas for safety reasons, but excessive lighting from office buildings or security lighting in residential or commercial areas can be a nuisance for some people.
WTA is responsible for regulating nuisance light emissions from residential premises and most commercial/industrial premises. Please note that the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection regulates nuisance light emissions from premises holding a licence with the DEHP.
Dust, smoke or odour nuisances
The Environmental Protection laws also cover other unreasonable releases of various emissions, including dust, smoke, fumes and odour. Examples include:
- Smoke or ash from burning off waste
- Aerosols from paint cans and other fine mists
- Fumes from petrol or diesel
- Dust from construction works
- Odour from composting or accumulated rubbish.
For noise matters regulated by Council, they can issue an on-the-spot fine or a Direction Notice for nuisance residential noise. A Direction Notice will detail the offence and the timeframe the offender has to fix the problem.
If the Direction Notice is not complied with, Council may issue an on-the-spot fine or prosecute the offender in severe cases.
Commercial And Industrial Premises
Some commercial and industrial properties have development approvals and conditions which must be complied with. If a company does not comply, Council may issue a Show Cause Notice or an Enforcement Notice.
An Enforcement Notice can require the company to comply with the development conditions, take specific action or stop the activity causing the noise issues. Council can also prosecute under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 outlines allowable noise levels for different types of equipment and activities.
Making a complaint
If you have a nuisance issue with a neighbour, we recommend that you first discuss all possible options for resolving the problem with your neighbour.
If this isn’t possible or practical, please contact WTA on 07 4030 9400 to discuss your concerns.
If you wish WTA to progress your complaint, you will be required to supply us with certain information, including your contact details. Anonymous complaints cannot be taken or investigated.
Your complaint will then be directed to a member of WTA’s Communities Department to investigate. Complaints to WTA are strictly confidential and we will never release a complainant’s details.
Noise related complaints not (typically) handled by a ‘Council’
Council does not deal with noise complaints about:
- Music, loud stereos, parties, rowdy behaviour and burglar alarms. Phone the Queensland Police on 13 14 44
- Premises with a liquor licence. Phone the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation on 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
- State government properties or activities that are regulated by the state government. Phone the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation on 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
- Off-road noisy vehicles and trail bikes. Phone the Queensland Police on 13 14 44
- On-road noisy vehicles and trail bikes. Phone the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 23 80
- Native animals and birds, such as crows. Phone the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation on 13 QGOV (13 74 68)