Neighbourhood noise, including sounds from animals, alarms, machines and parties can be very annoying to the community. You can often halt noise which is disturbing you without involving government and legal authorities.
Talk to people
Try to solve the problem amicably by talking to whoever is causing the noise. Often people do not realise they are being noisy and are happy to work with you to solve the problem by taking appropriate measures.
Contact a Community Justice Centre
If the noise continues, you can contact a Community Justice Centre. These government-funded independent organisations specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering complicated legal processes. Mediation will not cost you anything, and has a high success rate.
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, Council can serve a number of notices to people making noise in their home or business, which require them to control offensive noise and advise of acceptable noise levels.
Council notices can order that noisy activities be restricted to specific times of the day or certain days. If the notice is not complied with, Council can issue a fine, or prosecute.
Offensive Noise and Noise Abatement Orders
Upon application to the Local Court under section 268 of the Protection of the Environment Opertaions Act 1997 anyone may seek the issue of a noise abatement order to stop offensive noise.
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:
- an order directing the respondent to abate the offensive noise within the time specified in the order,
- an order directing the respondent to prevent a recurrence of the offensive noise.
offensive noise means noise:
- that, by reason of its level, nature, character or quality, or the time at which it is made, or any other circumstances:
- is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or
- 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
- 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.
- Noise - NSW Department of Environment and Climate change information on noise legislation, hints for responding to noise, and more.
- Community Justice Centres - free dispute resolution service.
For further advice on noise pollution, telephone Council's Environmental Services Unit on 9330 6222.