Noise can affect different people in different ways. What's acceptable to one person may be offensive to another.
Your options if noise is a problem:
First, try to solve the problem amicably by talking to whoever is causing the noise. Instead of involving Council, this approach also helps to maintain good relations with your neighbour.
- If the noise continues you can contact a Community Justice Centre to try and arrange mediation with your neighbour. These are government funded independent centres specialising in settling differences between neighbours without entering into complicated legal processes.
- Seek a Noise Abatement Order. Regardless of any Council action, you can seek a noise abatement order through the Chamber Magistrate in your local court. If the court is satisfied that the neighbour is causing an offensive noise or that the noise is likely to recur, it may order them to stop the noise or prevent a recurrence.
What to report to Council
Typical noise complaints we will investigate are:
- Neighbourhood noise – animal noise, power tools, loud music, air conditioners, pool pumps etc.
- Smaller factories and backyard workshops
- Commercial premises – ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration
- Noisy motor vehicles in public places
- Noisy motor vehicles on private property
- Road construction on council roads (for state-managed roads, you need to contact NSW Roads and Maritime Services)
- Building construction
- Noise from sporting facilities including motorsport noise or noise from gun/rifle/pistol clubs
- Concert noise
- Alarms, e.g. security and building alarms, car alarms
How to Report Noise
What you need to do
Before taking formal steps to complain about noise, you should attempt to contact your neighbour to discuss the problem and try to work out an appropriate solution.
Be tactful when bringing the complaint to their notice. They might not realise there is a problem or they may be sensitive about issues such as crying babies. If that’s unsuccessful there are some other avenues you can follow.
- Contact the Community Justice Centre
If your neighbour won’t discuss the issue, you can contact Community Justice Centres for help with free mediation. An independent mediator will help you and your neighbour discuss the matter without getting into lengthy or expensive legal processes.
You can contact your local police station for urgent noise problems.
- Complete a noise diary and contact us.
If you're still unable to resolve the matter and the noise is an ongoing problem you can contact Council on 02 6724 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Before you get in touch, it’s important that you complete the noise diary log, available for download below, for a minimum period of 7 days. The information you provide within the diary log will help us to give you the appropriate advice, which may also be used as evidence should we need to take any formal action on your behalf.
- For after hours complaints
After hours complaints can be made directly to the police by contacting your local police station. Noise complaints made to Council after hours are referred to our Rangers who aim to follow them up as soon as possible. If the situation is complex and difficult to fix, Rangers will refer the complaint on for a more thorough investigation.
If the noise is an ongoing problem you can contact Council on 02 6724 2000 or email@example.com
Council Investigation Process
We take the following factors into consideration:
- Noise level, nature, character or quality, or the time at which it is made, or any other circumstances
- Whether it's harmful (or is likely to be harmful) to a person who's outside the premises from which it's emitted
- Whether it interferes unreasonably (or is likely to interfere unreasonably) with the comfort or repose of a person who's outside the premises from which it's emitted
If, following investigation, noise is considered offensive, actions we can take under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, include issuing:
- a prevention notice
- a noise control notice
Enquiries can be directed to Council's Environmental Health Department on 02 6724 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org