Port Botany noise

The EPA's response to noise complaints from the community living in the Port Botany area.

female EPA officer installing noise monitorsThe EPA and NSW Ports registered a significant increase in noise complaints from the community living in the Port Botany area during 2020 and 2021 which we have been working to resolve. In response to the increase in complaints, the EPA has been working with other stakeholders, including NSW Ports, the Port Authority of NSW, Randwick and Bayside Councils, local industry and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, to investigate potential noise sources.

To better understand noise in the local area NSW Ports commissioned noise monitoring activities in 2020. The report concluded the largest source of low frequency noise in the area was ships berthed at Port Botany, with other low frequency noise sources contributing. A copy of the report can be found at https://www.nswports.com.au/outcome-noise-investigation-port-botany.

To compliment this report, the EPA engaged independent specialist noise experts to conduct further monitoring of non-ship sources of low frequency noise around Port Botany. Noise monitors were installed at six locations in the area for one month.

This monitoring confirmed that ship and port noise were the dominant sources of low frequency noise in the Port Botany area and found that:

  • In addition to the port activities, a number of other sources of low frequency noise were identified however, the amount of low frequency noise contributed by each non-ship source was not identified. The multitude of noise sources in the area meant it was not possible to determine the amount of noise from individual sources as part of this study.
  • Road traffic, particularly heavy vehicles, rail and aircraft movements are contributors to low frequency noise in the Port Botany area.
  • The Opal paper mill is a contributor of low frequency noise to its surrounding residential area in Matraville.
  • Residents in the Matraville area could be impacted by low frequency noise from ships and/or Opal depending on operating conditions at the Port and weather conditions.

The EPA intends to release a copy of its specialist noise report to the community soon and continues to work with stakeholders to work towards reducing noise impacts experienced by the community.

We will continue to provide updates to the community through our website.

Noise relating to Port Botany can be reported to NSW Ports on 1300 922 524, via the NSW Ports website at www.nswports.com.au or via your local council.

Noise relating to Opal packaging can be reported to Opal on 1800 072 734, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reporting to the licence holder in the first instance will ensure the quickest response.

Please report environmental concerns or complaints to the NSW EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555 or via email at info@epa.nsw.gov.au
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