Environmental Nuisance & Pollution
Dust from building works, noise from various sources, offensive odours and other types of emissions can not only be a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with daily activities, it can also affect people’s health.
Southern Downs Regional Council is responsible for investigating some types of noise, light, air and odour nuisance and pollution complaints under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
Sometimes people and businesses are unaware that their activities may be causing a nuisance. Southern Downs Regional Council encourages all residents and business operators to first talk with their neighbours about a nuisance issue before making a complaint, and try to work together to resolve the problem.
Where this is not an option or talking with your neighbour has not helped, you can raise the issue with Council or other appropriate authority to request assistance to investigate the matter.
Steps in the Investigative Process - Environmental Nuisances
- Council’s first response is to educate and inform both parties involved of how the issue can be better managed or dealt with.
- Where the problem continues, Council will investigate further within our legislative authority.
- Council may require you to document the instances of the nuisance occurring using an Environmental Nuisance Diary. (PDF 377.3KB). This information is required by the investigating Environmental Health Officer as it forms part of the assessment to determine if the source is considered a nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
- If an offence has occurred, a notice may be issued to remedy the matter.
- If the resident or business still takes no action, additional penalties may apply.
Reporting Significant Pollution Incidents
Reports of significant pollution incidents should be made to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) via the Pollution Hotline. DES are responsible for undertaking compliance activities on industries and activities that pose a greater environmental risk. Examples of significant pollution incidents include:
- significant fish kills (not including bycatch)
- chemical truck/vehicle rollover
- factory fires (if a premises is currently on fire call 000 immediately)
- pipeline break
- major sewage spills
Frequently Asked Questions:
Useful Resources & Factsheets
Default Noise Standards factsheet (PDF 893.8KB)
Environmental Nuisance Diary template (PDF 377.3KB)
Industry Information Sheet - Noise nuisance & use of scare/scatter guns & hail cannons