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Vol 31 No 1


April 2003


Overview of Environmental Noise Policies in Australia
M. Burgess and W. Renew

Road Traffic Noise Exposure in Australian Capital Cities
A. L. Brown and R.B. Bullen

The Effects of Environmental Noise on Child Health and Learning A Review of International Research
M.M. Haines and S.A. Stansfield

Long-term Environmental Monitoring and Noise Source Identification
R.B. Bullen

ACOUSTICS FORUM: Australian Environmental Noise Issues

ACOUSTICS FORUM: The 'A' Frequency Weighting
K. Scannell

Book Reviews
New Members
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Meeting Reports
Future Meetings
Acoustics Australia Information
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Marion Burgess
Acoustics & Vibration Unit, School of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering,
UNSW at Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra
Warren Renew
Environmental Protection Agency, PO Pox 155, Albert Street, Brisbane

Vol. 31, No. 1 pp 5-9 (2003)
Abstract: Across Australia, legislation for environmental noise is largely the respon8ibiiity of each of the six States and two Territories. The Federal government has the responsibility for national issues such as aircraft noise and also to encourage harmonisation of the legislation and regulations among the States and Territories. Even though there has been an Australian Standard(AS 1055) on environmental noise for some decades, the assessment methods in this Standard are not necessarily followed in each jurisdiction. In some cases the assessment of the noise is on a different basis, such as comparison with background noise level or with a zone noise standard. In other cases the differences are minor, such as differences in the times for day and night. This paper will summarise and discuss the implications of the differences in the legislation and regulations.


A. L, Brown1 and Rob B, Bullen2
1 School of Environmental Planning, Griffith University, Nathan 4111
2 Wilkinson Murray P/L, 123 Willonghby Rd Crows Nest 2065

Vol. 31, No. 1 pp 11-16 (2003)
ABSTRACT: This paper reports the exposure of dwellings, in Australian mainland capital cities, to road traffic noise. The exposure of Australian dwellings has been reported previously, but the current study, based on a sample of 200 dwellings per city, provides estimates of exposure in each city. Estimates were based on rigorous sample selection and on predicted levels using measured traffic and geometric data. Some 8-20% of dwellings are exposed to L~41o,18h levels above 63dB, and 5-1 1% above 68 dB. The results suggest that efforts to date to ensure that Australian urban populations are not exposed to high levels of road traffic noise have had little success. An analysis of jurisdictional responsibility for the roadway sources confirms that management of this problem must be accepted by both local and State authorities.


M.M.Haines1,2 and S.A.Stansfeld2
1 Health Risk Management Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sydney, Australia
2 Department of Psychiatry, Darts and the London Queen Mary's School of Medicine, University of London

Vol. 31, No. 1 pp 17-22 (2003)
Abstract: Impairments of early childhood development and education by environmental pollutants such as noise, may have life long effects on achieving academic potential and health. In this article the non-auditory health effects of noise on children will be reviewed with a focus on current research evidence from international studies. In studies examining the effects of chronic aircraft, rail and road traffic noise on children there is consistent evidence that noise exposure adversely affects child cognitive performance. Noise exposure has also been consistently associated with noise annoyance ~impaired well-being. There is moderate evidence that chronic noise exposure affects motivation, blood pressure and catecholamine hormone secretion. There is equivocal evidence that chronic noise exposure affects child mental health and sleep disturbance. Intervention studies should be a research priority area, because they can provide an evidence base to inform policies and measures to protect children from the adverse effects of noise. In addition, future studies are required to provide a more precise insight into the mechanisms that underlie child noise effects and the identification of vulnerable subgroups.


Robert Bullen
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
123 Willoughby Rd
Crows Nest NSW 2065

Vol. 31, No. 1 pp 23-27 (2003)
Abstract: To control noise emission from any source, regulating bodies can adopt one of two strategies - physical controls specifying equipment types, silencers, barriers, etc. or performance-based controls specifying noise levels to be met at sensitive locations. The performance-based approach is generally preferred by both noise-makers (because it allows flexibility in designing noise controls) and affected communities (because it guarantees a noise level outcome). A major problem, however, is monitoring compliance confidently. The performance-based strategy generally requires accurate detection of the noise level due to a particular source, automatic monitoring of this level over a long period (often months or years), and fast (preferably real-time) access to monitored data. Techniques are becoming available to perform all these tasks, making performance-based noise conditions practical for a much larger class of noise sources. This article describes some recent developments in this field, and demonstrates the capabilities of a large noise monitoring system with source-detection capabilities.

ACOUSTICS FORUM: Australian Environmental Noise Issues

Vol. 31, No. 1 pp 28-30 (2003)

ACOUSTICS FORUM: The 'A' Frequency Weighting

Ken Scannell
Noise and Sound Services,
Spectrum House, 1 Elegans Avenue, St Ives NSW 2075

Vol. 31, No. 1 pp 31-32 (2003)