What are the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997?

    The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 are the state laws that administer and control environmental noise. Environmental noise sources include transport, industry and neighbourhood activities such as air conditioning units, construction, musical instruments and radios/stereos. It is local government who is generally responsible for ensuring compliance and enforcement with the noise regulations.

    The regulations contain 'prescribed standards' for noise, including allowable decibel levels at a receiver (known as assigned noise levels) and control of certain 'annoying' characteristics, for example tonality. They take into account the land use (commercial/industrial) and major and secondary roads surrounding the noise receiver. 

    There are several special case regulations which cover activities that are generally of a temporary nature and/or perceived community benefit. These are exempt from complying with the prescribed standards and instead must comply with specific requirements in the regulations. They include approved public events (regulation 18) and approved venues (regulation 19B).

    What is regulation 19B?

    Prior to 2013, venue occupiers could only apply to a local government for an event approval under regulation 18. The CEO of a local government can only issue two regulation 18 approvals at a venue in any consecutive twelve month period, and each event requires a separate application and approval.

    Regulation 18 approvals work well for one-off events, however the process is onerous for both venue occupiers and local government. WA has also seen an increasing number of entertainment events being held in recent years. 

    The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 were amended in 2013 after significant consultation with local governments, key industry stakeholders and community members to introduce a specific regulation to manage major event venues (regulation 19B). 

    Regulation 19B provides an approval process for major venues such as Optus Stadium that hold large events on a regular basis throughout the year. The occupier of a venue may apply for approval to host a specific number and type of 'notifiable events'.

    A venue approval will allow noise emissions from events to exceed the assigned noise levels stipulated in the regulations, provided events are carried out in accordance with the venue’s approval. 

    A regulation 19B venue approval provides fairness, certainty and protection for the community and local government as to what sorts of events they can expect from the venue, and also for the venue occupier as to the tenure for the viable operation of the venue.

    What types of conditions must a venue approval contain?

    As specified in the noise regulations, a venue approval must state:

    • the period of which the venue approval is valid
    • the maximum number and type of notifiable events
    • the start and finish times of notifiable events
    • the maximum duration of a notifiable event
    • the maximum allowable noise level of a notifiable event;
    • the manner in which occupiers affected by noise from a notifiable event at the venue are to be notified of the event (e.g. flyer/letter drop)
    • a complaint procedure
    • the manner in which community consultation is to be conducted by the applicant for approval of the venue (i.e. public consultation to inform an application for a venue approval or renewal of a venue approval to the local government).

    How have the venue approval conditions been drafted by the Town of Victoria Park?

    The Town’s Environmental Health Services have reviewed the venue operator’s application which included the requested event numbers, the community survey report by Patterson Research Group (used to justify the numbers of events, duration, start and finish times etc) and noise modelling for the different event types. The community survey and noise modelling can be viewed in the Document Library.

    The Town of Victoria Park has worked closely with the venue operator, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Noise Branch and surrounding local governments to draft the conditions. The aim was to ensure the community is protected as far as practicable, whilst still being fair to the venue operator. It also enables Perth city to attract major touring events.

    Who has the opportunity to provide comment?

    We are seeking comment from the following stakeholders:

    • occupiers within 1km of the venue (i.e. residents and businesses)
    • Chief Health Officer, Department of Health
    • Director of Liquor Licensing
    • surrounding local governments (in this case the City of Perth, City of Bayswater, City of Belmont and City of Vincent)

    How has this consultation been communicated to the public?

    All occupiers located within a 1km radius of Optus Stadium were advised of the consultation of the draft venue approval via a letter drop.

    What happens after the consultation period closes?

    The CEO will consider all submissions and can either approve, refuse or amend the venue approval conditions.

    If approved, the venue approval will then be published in the Government Gazette and the date of publication marks the start date of the three year approval period. 

    A person aggrieved by a decision (an appellable decision), such as the venue being approved, or a condition of the venue approval may lodge an appeal with the Minister. The appeal must be lodged within 21 days of publication of the venue approval in the Government Gazette. During this time the CEO's decision regarding the venue approval or conditions remains in place.