Neighbourhood Noise

Noise disturbances are controlled under the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. In general, offensive noise should not be emitted from a premises.

Offensive noise means noise:

  1.  that, by reason of its level, nature, character or quality, or the time at which it is made, or any other circumstances:
    (i) is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or
    (ii) interferes unreasonably with (or is likely to interfere unreasonably with) the comfort or repose of a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or 
  2. that is of a level, nature, character or quality prescribed by the regulations or that is made at a time, or in other circumstances, prescribed by the regulations

Reporting Noise Pollution

Firstly it is recommended that you try and resolve the noise issue yourself by talking it over with the person causing the noise. Often people don't realise they are causing a problem and they may be very happy to do what they can to help. If this approach is not successful and where noise is a recurrent problem you may, depending on the circumstances, consider contacting a Community Justice Centre. If you are unable to resolve the matter by using these methods, more formal action may be taken by contacting Council and providing the following information:

  • Time, date and duration of the noise
  • Details of the type and sound of the noise
  • Details of the likely noise source
  • Your contact details

Council will not investigate anonymous complaints.

Civil action for the issuing Issue of a Noise Abatement Orders:

  1. The occupier of any premises may apply to the Local Court for an order under section 268 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
  2. The application is to be commenced by the issue of an application notice that alleges that the occupier’s occupation of premises is affected by offensive noise.
  3. The respondent to the application may be a person alleged to be making or contributing to the noise or the occupier of premises from which the noise is alleged to be emitted.
  4. If the Local Court is satisfied (on the balance of probabilities) that the alleged offensive noise exists, or that although abated it is likely to recur on the same premises, the Local Court may make either or both of the following orders:
    (a) an order directing the respondent to abate the offensive noise within the time specified in the order,
    (b) an order directing the respondent to prevent a recurrence of the offensive noise.
  5. Part 4 of the Local Court Act 2007 applies to an application under this section.

Permissible Hours

To enable people to use and maintain their properties, an understanding has been reached for certain acceptable domestic noise. Certain items may only be used outside the permissible hours if they are not heard within a habitable room of an affected residence. Even operating within the permissible hours, restrictions can be placed on the use of these articles if they cause offensive noise.

Noise Source

Permissible Hours

Power tools and equipment, including powered garden tools, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, electric or pneumatic tools, chainsaws or circular saws, compressors etc. 7am - 8pm, Monday - Saturday
8am - 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays
Swimming pool and spa pumps 7am - 8pm, Monday - Saturday
8am - 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays
Amplified sound equipment, including radio, TV, hi-fi etc. 8am - midnight, any friday, Saturday or day immediately before a pulic holiday
8am - 10pm on any other day
Domestic air conditioners 7am - 10pm, weekdays
8am - 10pm Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Motor vehicles, except when entering and leaving residential premises 7am - 8pm, Monday - Saturday
8am - 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays
Refrigeration units fitted to vehicles 7am - 8pm, Monday - Saturday
8am - 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays

Night Time Music or Party Noise

Disturbances of excessive noise from parties at night, where Council Rangers are unavailable, should be directed to the Local Police. Authorised officers can issue Noise Abatement Directions if they are satisfied that the level of noise is obtrusive and offensive. A person to whom a Noise Abatement Direction has been given must not, without reasonable excuse, while the direction remains in force:

  • fail to cause the emission of the offensive noise from the premises to cease promptly
  • at any time within 28 days following the time at which the direction was given cause or permit offensive noise to be emitted from the premises

Commercial Premises

Most commercial operations are required to comply with noise requirements (in accordance with the NSW Industrial Noise Policy) under their respective development consents for the use of the property.

Reporting Noise Pollution - Who to Contact

Noise Source

Contact

Industrial/Commercial Noise  
Large industrial complexes EPA environment line, phone: 131 555
Smaller factories and backyard workshops Local Council
Commercial premises - ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration Local Council
Pub, club or licensed premises - loud music or patron noise Office of Liquor, Racing and Gaming
(02) 9995 0300
Online form
info@olgr.nsw.gov.au
Transport Noise  
Commercial airports and aircraft in flight National Noise Enquiry Line: 1300 302 240
Aircraft on the groud at private and local council operated airports Local Council
Noisy motor vehicles (including trail bikes) in a public space, such as roads, verges and car parks and off roads, including parks and reserves EPA Environment Line, phone: 131 555, or Police Assistance Line, phone: 131 444, or Local Council
Noisy motor vehicles (including trail bikes) on private property Police Assistance Line, phone: 131 444, or Local Council
Local roads noise Local Council
Freeways, tollways, main roads noise Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Rail noise EPA Environment Line: 131 555
Rail Greenline: 1300 656 999
Australian Rail Track Corporation EnviroLine: 1300 550 402
Naval vessels Department of Defence: 1300 333 362
Container and passenger ships Ports Corporation, Sydney: 9296 4999
Recreational boating, jet skis Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Amplified music from vessels Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Water Police: 9320 7499
or Local Council
Construction Noise  
Freeways and tollways construction EPA Enviironment Line, phone 131 555
Main Roads construction Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Other Roads construction Local Council
Building construction Local Council
Major public infrastructure construction EPA Environment Line, phone: 131 555
Public Sporting and entertainment Venues  
Motor sports and gun/rifle/pistol clubs Local Council
Sporting facilities (other than vessels) Local Council
Aquatic sporting events Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Concert facilities Local Council
Concerts at major state venues (eg SCG, the Domain, Centennial Park, Moore Park, Olympic Park) EPA Environment Line: 131 555
Neighbourhood Noise  
Noise from residential premises such as animal noise, barking dogs, power tools, loud music, air conditioners, pool pumps etc. Local Council or Police Assistance Line: 131 444
Building intruder or car alarms Local Council or Police Assistance Line: 131 444