The definition of "excessive noise" depends on the time of day and other circumstances. For example, the use of a lawnmower at 3pm might be acceptable, but the use of a lawnmower at 10pm might not. Deciding whether noise is excessive is up to the judgement of the Noise Control Officer. Noise Control Officers do not use decibel reading noise equipment for noise complaints.
Before involving Council, the first option is to talk over the issue of complaint with the neighbour concerned. In many cases, the person making the noise may be unaware of the nuisance they are causing others.
Excessive Noise Direction
An Excessive Noise Direction is a notice served by a Noise Control Officer if, after receiving and investigating a noise complaint, they believe the noise is excessive.
On receipt of an Excessive Noise Direction, the source of the nosie must immediately be turned down to a reasonable level. The Excessive Noise Direction is in place for 72 hours. If Council receivesmore complaints of excessive noise within 72 hours of the Excessive Noise Direction bein issued, and a visit confirms that the noise is excessive, the Noise Control Officer and the Police will seize the noise-offending equipment (the Noise Control Officer cannot seize the noise-offending equipment without the Police).
Properties with a number of Excessive Noise Direction notices issued will face monitoring by Council and further action may take place, such as warning letters , confiscation of equipment and an Abatement Notice.
An Abatement Notice is a formal legal document, served against the individuals in a house. Domestic properties against which there have been a succession of Excessive Noise Directions issued, amy as a consequence receive an Abatement Notice.
For properties where an Abatement Notice is in force, if there is a further justified noise complaint, then the stereo (or other noisy equipment) in the house may be seized without the need for an Excessive Noise Direction to be issued.
Infringements for Noise
Council may issue infringement notices for repeat offenders. Two of the infringement offences are:
- Not complying with an Excessive Noise Direction
- Not complying with an Abatement Notice
You cannot have a permit to make noise
If you are going to have a celebration, party or similar, it is recommended that you advise your neighbours in advance. Let them know the date of the party and the starting and finishing times. Advise them of the contact details of a responsible person who the neighbours can contact during the night if they feel the noise is excessive.
By communicatiing with your neighbours there may not be a need for Council to become involved. However, your neighbours have the right to complain to Council about excessive noise at any time during th day or night.