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Neighbourhood noise

Did you know that noise generated from amplified music, air conditioners, barking dogs, power tools and pool pumps can be a nuisance to others. People can become extremely upset by noise they have no control over resulting in stress, fatigue and heightened sensitivity.

If you are planning an activity that will make noise, let your neighbours know. If your neighbours have any concerns, you may be able to find a way to satisfy them.

Council, the Police and the Local Court are able to deal with neighbourhood disputes that arise from noise nuisances using the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017.

What can I do about noisy neighbours?

The regulation sets out restricted times when power tools and equipment from residential premises should not be used if they can be heard in a neighbour's home.


These hours of restriction can help you decide which action to take

Type of noise Restricted hours Who to contact?

Power tools and equipment, powered garden tools
Including:

  • lawn mowers
  • leaf blowers
  • electrical or pneumatic tools
  • chainsaws or circular saws
  • gas or air compressors
  • swimming pool or spa pumps
Weekdays and Saturdays:
8pm to 7am

Sundays and Public Holidays:
8pm to 8am
Council:
02 4645 4000
or
Police:
131 444

Musical instruments and sound equipment
Including:

  • radios
  • televisions
  • sound reproduction equipment
  • public address systems
  • computer games
  • amplifiers
Friday, Saturday, or the day immediately before a Public Holiday:
12 midnight to 8am

Any other day:
10pm to 8am
Council:
02 4645 4000
or
Police:
131 444

Domestic air-conditioners

Weekdays:
10pm to 7am

Weekends and public holidays:
10pm to 8am
Council: 
02 4645 4000

Motor vehicles
Except when entering or leaving residential premises.

It is an offence for the sound system of a motor vehicle to emit offensive noise.

Weekdays:
8pm to 7am

Weekends:
8pm to 8am
Council:
02 4645 4000
or
Police:
131 444

Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles

Weekdays:
8pm to 7am

Weekends and Public Holidays:
8pm to 8am
Council:
02 4645 4000
or
Police:
131 444

Building noise

Contractors must carry out the constructions works in accordance with their conditions of consent. Council:
02 4645 4000

There are a number of options you can take if neighbourhood noise is a problem:

Talk to your neighbour

  • Try to solve the problem amicably by talking it over with whoever is causing the noise.
  • They may not realise they are causing a problem and may be happy to do what they can to help.

Contact the Community Justice Centre

If the noise problem persists, you may also seek the assistance of the Community Justice Centre (CJC), phone 1800 990 777 for mediation.

The CJC is a government funded, independent centre that specialises in settling differences between neighbours through mediation without getting into complicated legal processes.

Take formal action

There are several things you can do if you are experiencing continual noise problems:


Lodge a complaint with Council

Where we are satisfied there’s evidence of an ongoing noise nuisance, we are able to issue a notice under section 264 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 on the occupier of the premises.

This requires measures to be taken to control noise from a wide range of domestic sources including:

  • air-conditioners
  • swimming pool pumps
  • radios
  • sound reproduction equipment
  • musical instruments
  • power tools
  • lawnmowers
  • burglar alarms
  • animals.

The notice can require the noise-making activities to be restricted to certain times of the day or certain days. Failure to comply with the notice can lead to prosecution.

  • Contact Council's Customer Service section to make a complaint on 02 4645 4000
  • Where a noise nuisance is occurring outside of Council's operating hours, you should contact the local Police.


Seek a noise abatement order

Under section 268 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997:

  • If you are affected by offensive noise, you can contact the Local Court and apply for a noise abatement order to be issued.
  • The Justice may summon the person alleged to be making the noise to appear before the Local Court.
  • If the court is satisfied that there is offensive noise or that it is likely to recur, it may order the person to stop the noise or prevent a recurrence.
  • Failure to comply with the order could lead to prosecution.


Contact your local Police

In cases where noises occur after hours or if you are excessively disturbed by particular noise incidents (like noisy parties), you may contact the police who can use section 276 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 to direct a person making the offensive noise to stop.

Call the Police enquiries hotline: 131 444

  • A Noise Abatement Direction may be issued verbally, at any time of the day or night and can remain in force for up to 28 days from the time it is issued.
  • Any person who fails to comply with such a direction may be issued with an on-the-spot fine.

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