The Environmental Protection Act 1986 (the Act) states "noise includes vibration of any frequency, whether transmitted through air or any other physical medium."
The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 (the Regulations) operate as a prescribed standard under the Act and set limits on noise emissions.
Local governments use the Regulations to deal with domestic, commercial and general industry noise, while the Department of Environment Regulation deals with industries that are prescribed premises under the Act. The police deal with such activities as noisy parties, using the 'unreasonable noise' provisions of the Act, instead of the Regulations. For information on the definition of unreasonable noise, refer to subsection 3(3) of the Act.