Wind farms play an important role in helping Victoria achieve its emissions reduction targets and ensuring a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all Victorians.
It’s important to ensure that the amenity of local communities is protected and to provide certainty for industry.
New Regulations under the Environment Protection Act
From 1 August 2021, new Regulations will come into effect to set specific requirements for wind farm operators under the Environment Protection Act 2017. These requirements do not change the limits for wind turbine noise but do set additional measures to demonstrate compliance.
Requirements for wind farm operators include:
- ongoing compliance with the relevant noise standard (the New Zealand Noise Standard NZS 6808 1998 or 2010, depending on the planning permit)
- implementation of a noise management plan, including a complaints management plan
- providing an annual statement detailing the actions that have been taken to ensure compliance
- completing a post-construction noise assessment
- conducting noise monitoring every five years.
As Victoria’s independent environmental regulator, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will be the primary regulator for wind farm turbine noise, for both new and existing facilities.
Noise and other emissions from wind farm turbines are no longer subject to the nuisance provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.
Response to public consultation
These Regulations have been developed based on a regulatory impact statement and on public consultation conducted in early 2021. There were 65 responses to this consultation from individuals, community groups, councils and industry representatives.
The Victorian Government would like to thank everyone who provided input in relation to development of the new Regulations.
Please see below a public consultation report, which summarises the issues and comments raised during the consultation process, as well as the Victorian Government’s responses and how the feedback has informed the final regulatory measures.
Complaints about Wind Farm Noise
Any concerns about wind farm turbine noise should be raised directly with the wind farm operator. The operator will respond according to their complaints management procedures.
If further assistance is needed, the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner can also be contacted.
The new Regulations will commence on 1 August 2021. The Regulations will allow a transition period for some of the new requirements to take effect.
EPA will develop technical guidance in consultation with industry to support compliance with the Regulations.
Further changes to Victoria’s planning system are currently being finalised.
For any questions about these changes please call the DELWP Contact Centre on 136186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.