Tuesday 10 July 2018
Hansard of the Legislative Council


The following answer was given to a question upon notice:


Mr FINCH asked the Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council -


(a)  Can the Government confirm that EPA Tasmania has not reviewed the East Tamar industry TEMCO's Environment Protection Notice since 2002?

(b)  If the answer to (a) is yes, is the Government aware that EPA Tasmania's guidelines state that the notice should be reviewed every five years?


(a)  As the European Union and the World Health Organization have safe limits for particulate material PM10, PM 2.5, lead, arsenic and cadmium, should there be testing by EPA Tasmania at the Bell Bay industrial area given these are believed to be by‑products of some of their processes?

(b)  Can the Government confirm that EPA Tasmania has not updated its Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality)  since 2004?


(a)  As East Tamar industries are close to residential areas, how often are noise and air pollution measured?

(b)  In what locations are measurements taken?


As noise pollution from Bell Bay has been an ongoing issue for Clarence Point, Beauty Point and other residents on the West Tamar, what steps can be taken to reduce the allowable noise impact?

Ms HISCUTT replied -


I understand the TEMCO Environment Protection Notice - EPN - has been under review and is currently in draft.


(a)  The EPA imposes regular air emissions monitoring on all regulated premises at Bell Bay.  The parameters monitored are relevant to the activity of the site.  All data is available to the public via the annual environmental review - AER.

(b)  The Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004, which is a legislated government policy, not an EPA policy, is currently under review.


(a) and (b)

All EPA-regulated activities within Bell Bay are required to undertake noise surveys to ensure compliance against permitted noise limits.  The frequency of noise surveys varies between every 14 months to every three years.  Noise is measured at a variety of locations on the East and West Tamar over a period of 24 hours.

All EPA-regulated activities in Bell Bay are required to undertake air emissions monitoring to ensure compliance with permitted emissions levels.

Emissions monitoring includes onsite and extensive offsite monitoring throughout the Tamar Valley.  Offsite locations include Beauty Point, Low Head, Rowella, Kelso and George Town.

Some operations undertake continuous emissions monitoring of stack emissions allowing real time data.  If an exceedence is detected, an alarm sounds so that immediate action can be taken.


Noise propagation through the Tamar Valley is complex due to atmospheric and topographic conditions.  The Tamar River creates an unusual environment for the transfer of noise.  Noise is always generated from Bell Bay, but under certain atmospheric conditions it is not audible and under other conditions it is.

The EPA receives occasional noise complaints from residents at Beauty Point and Clarence Point.  In the last 18 months, a noise complainant from Clarence Point has been particularly concerned about noise from Bell Bay.

In response to the complaint, the EPA has undertaken several investigations including the deployment of a noise logger to the Clarence Point property for a period of 10 days to measure the noise experienced at the property.

The EPA noise specialist has reviewed the data and determined that noise limits imposed on Bell Bay operators were not exceeded during that period.

The EPA is intending to redeploy three noise loggers during July throughout Clarence Point at the request of the complainant.  This may provide further information regarding the nature of the noise.

The complaints relate to 'general noise' and as such, it is difficult to identify the source of the noise.

The EPA is in regular discussions with Bell Bay operators regarding the concerns of the complainant.

As reversing beepers were identified as a source of noise, a request has been sent to Bell Bay operators, including TasPorts, to convert their reversing beepers from high-pitched sirens to white noise sirens.