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Norman Waterhouse

Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023 now authorised

On 3 August 2023, the Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023 (SA) (Noise Policy 2023) (available here) was declared to be an authorised environment protection policy under the Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA). The Noise Policy 2023 will come into operation on 31 October 2023 and will repeal the Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007 (SA) (Noise Policy 2007).

Proposed changes

The approval of the Noise Policy 2023 follows a period of consultation which ended in November 2022 on the draft Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2022 (SA) (Draft Policy). We wrote about the changes proposed by the Draft Policy to the Noise Policy 2007 here. In short, these most significantly included:

  • substituting references to the now repealed Development Act 1993 (SA) and development plans with references to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (SA) and Planning and Design Code;
  • determining the relevant indicative noise level by reference to the relevant land use (now ‘principal land use’) referred to in the Planning and Design Code;
  • introducing an ‘intermittent characteristic’; and
  • removing special noise control provisions i.e. those relating to construction noise; domestic noise; rubbish collection, street sweeping machines etc; building intruder alarm systems; and frost fans.

Have these proposed changes been implemented?

The above changes proposed by the Draft Policy have all been substantively carried over to the Noise Policy 2023, with one exception. Special noise control provisions have been reintroduced exclusively in relation to frost fans. The provisions in the Noise Policy 2023 are identical to those contained in the Noise Policy 2007, except for substituting a reference to the ‘Development Plan’ for the ‘Planning and Design Code’.

Two other notable differences from the Draft Policy are:

  • the more restricted application of the ‘intermittent characteristic’ – a noise source will now only be taken to have an intermittent characteristic where this characteristic occurs between 10pm and 7am; and
  • changes to the measurement process for noise-affected premises with existing acoustic/noise attenuation – the measurement is now to be taken within a habitable room with the window shut, whereas previously no special provision was made for such premises.

Finally, minor amendments have been made to the Indicative noise factor guidelines for the Environment Protection (Commercial and Industrial Noise) Policy 2023 (available here), in accordance with which the Environment Protection Authority determines the applicable land use category for each Zone and Subzone.

With the removal of special noise control provisions from the Noise Policy 2023 (save for those relating to frost fans) local government should consider its response to the soon to be operational policy from a Local Nuisance Act perspective, in addition to its broader implications for development assessment.

For more specific information on any of the material contained in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Psaltis on +61 8 8210 1297 or or Stephan Koefer on +61 8 8217 1368 or

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