26 September 2019

Builders fined for excessive noise on construction sites

| Michael Weaver
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Construction sign.

Two builders in the ACT have been fined for excessive noise at building sites in Kingston and Lyneham. Photo: File.

Two Canberra builders are the first this year to be fined $1000 each for excessive noise on construction sites following complaints from Kingston and Lyneham residents.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) fined the two builders for making excessive noise from building works outside permitted hours.

An Access Canberra spokesperson said the fines are a deterrent to other builders who risk similar fines if they operate outside of noise restrictions.

“These fines are the first issued this year for noise from building work,” the spokesperson said in response to questions from Region Media.

“In both instances, the noise from building work was occurring between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm, which is after the permitted time of 6 pm.

“The noise was from machinery operating at the construction sites, which included generators and concrete finishers.”

The excessive noise was near residential areas in Kingston and Lyneham, where the noise limit are 55 decibels between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm and 45 decibels between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.

By comparison, a lawnmower operates at about 70 decibels, a standard vacuum cleaner at about 60 decibels and a washing machine at 50 decibels.

In smaller areas such as Griffith and Lyneham, the noise limits are 50 decibels and between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm.

These noise restrictions are also in place on Sundays and public holidays.

The Access Canberra spokesperson said they take an engage, educate and enforce approach to compliance.

“The Environment Protection Authority works closely with the building industry to ensure builders are aware of their environmental obligations,” the spokesperson said.

The ACT is divided into noise zones based on land uses listed in the Territory Plan. The noise standards under the plan permit higher noise levels in industrial areas and lower levels in residential areas.

Noise from building work in industrial, city and town centres areas is permitted from Monday to Sunday and on public holidays between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm.

Noise from building work in all other areas is permitted from Monday to Saturday between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.

At all other times, including public holidays, the noise from building work must not be above the noise standard.

More information about noise standards is available at www.act.gov.au/noise.

Any builder unsure of their obligations can contact the EPA via Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

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We see how stupid and ridiculous the laws and regulations in Australia are in this regard, as in many other issues. For example, let someone explain to me why construction works that are very close to residential areas and even intertwined are allowed on weekends?

So builders are fined for using small motors in the evening it Canberra metro is allowed to use concrete saws and vac trucks at midnight!!!

how true. Every night there is the noise of cleaning and maintenance until midnight. – the most annoying is the sound of the reversing trucks with a high pitched beep. not sure why that is permitted. I also have a building site over the road and they start work around 6am, which is intensely annoying

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