Read this factsheet to understand your rights about the noise generated during the Summernats festival.

Noise from the Summernats 

The annual Summernats event is described as a street machine car festival and includes street machine judging, burnout competition, and live music. It is held at Exhibition Park, Lyneham in Canberra.

For more information on the event, please visit the Summernats website.

What is the Summernats allowed to do?

The Summernats is authorised under an Environmental Authorisation, which covers a range of activities including motor sports and outdoor concerts. Pursuant to the Environment Protection Act 1997, Exhibition Park is authorised to conduct motor sports as part of the Summernats. The festival is subject to conditions which are laid out in Schedule 1 and 2 of the Authorisation and include the following:

  • Motor sports and outdoor concert activities may only be conducted as part of the Summernats between the hours of 9 am and 11 pm.

  • The maximum noise permitted for the Summernats event is 55dB(A)LA10, during the permitted hours of operation (9am – 11pm).

  • ‘Event Credits’ may be used to purchase an increase in the noise limit applying to the outdoor concerts on the Friday and Saturday night of the Summernats event only. The maximum noise limit permitted to be purchased is 65dB(A).

  • The permitted noise levels and corresponding authorised hours of operation of the “Go to Whoa Strip” are also outlined (see Attachment 3 of the Authorisation). The maximum noise limit is 65 dB(A) during the specified times and 55dB(A) between 12 noon and 1 pm on each day of the festival.
To read the Authorisation, click here.

If the noise emitted from the Summernats exceeds the permitted noise levels and the excessive noise causes or is likely to cause environmental harm, the organisers of the event may be in contravention of the Environment Protection Act 1997 (ACT). ‘Environmental harm’ is any impact on the environment as a result of human activity that has the effect of degrading the environment (whether temporarily or permanently).

What can you do if you have an issue with noise from the Summernats?

Environmental noise, including motor sport and music noise, is regulated under the Environment Protection Act 1997, however, noise generated by people talking, laughing and yelling, such as patrons at outdoor events, is not covered by the Act.

In situations where people’s noise or behaviour is believed to be unreasonable, the Australian Federal Police (phone 02 6256 7777) is the responsible regulatory authority and should be contacted if the noise complaint is in relation to noise emanating from patrons at an event. In the case of patrons on or adjacent to liquor licensed premises, the Office of Regulatory Services (phone 02 6207 0562) should be contacted.

When noise is from things other than people, such as noise from motors or from music, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is the responsible regulatory authority. To lodge a noise complaint with the EPA during the Summernat festival or to make an enquiry, contact the EPA by calling 13 22 81. The EPA have noise pollution officers available who will make site visits 24/7.

In the case of excessive noise, a complaint may be lodged with the EPA. A complaint regarding noise pollution will be considered by the EPA only if it is made by a person affected by the noise. The EPA will investigate the complaint and may issue a warning letter or fine. In some cases, an Environment Protection Order may be issued.



For more information regarding the regulation of motor sports noise in the ACT, click here.

To view the ACT Government fact sheet on noise, click here.

To view the EDO’s Noise Pollution Fact Sheet, click here.

To download this Fact Sheet as a PDF, click here.



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