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.

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.

The following information can assist residents in resolving and understanding neighbourhood noise issues: 

Managing neighbourhood noise

Type of noise
Restricted hours
Who to contact?
Power tools and equipment, powered garden tools and pumps.
Including:
  • Powered garden tools lawn mowers and leaf blowers
  • electrical, battery operated or pneumatic tools
  • chainsaws or circular saws
  • gas or air compressors
  • swimming pool or spa pumps
Weekdays:
8pm to 7am

Weekends and Public Holidays:
8pm to 8am
Council:
02 4654 7777
or
Police:
131 444

Musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment
Including:

  • radios
  • televisions
  • home entertainment systems
  • 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 4654 7777
or
Police:
131 444

Domestic air-conditioners and heat pumps water heaters.

 

Weekdays:
10pm to 7am

Weekends and public holidays:
10pm to 8am
Council: 
02 4654 7777

Managing noise from building intruder alarms

 

Type of noise
Regulations
Who to contact?

Building Intruder alarms

In the case of an alarm installed before 1 December 1997—

(i) it automatically ceases to sound, whether continuously or intermittently, within 10 minutes after being activated by a detection device, and

(ii) it cannot be reactivated (except by a different detection device) until it has been manually or automatically reset, or

In the case of an alarm installed on or after 1 December 1997—

(i) it automatically ceases to sound, whether continuously or intermittently, within 5 minutes after being activated by a detection device, and

(ii) it cannot be reactivated (except by a different detection device) until it has been manually reset.

Council:
02 4654 7777
or
Police:
131 444 

 

Managing vehicle noise

Type of noise
Restricted hours
Who to contact?

Motor vehicles
Except when entering or leaving residential premises.

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

Weekdays:
8pm to 7am

Saturday, Sunday or public holiday:
8pm to 8am

Council:
02 4654 7777
or
Police:
131 444

Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles

Weekdays:
8pm to 7am

Saturday, Sunday or public holidays:
8pm to 8am

Council:
02 4654 7777
or
Police:
131 444

What you can do 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.

Formal action you can take

Lodge a complaint

Where there is sufficient evidence of an ongoing noise nuisance, a notice under section 264 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 may be issued to 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

  • sound equipment

  • musical instruments

  • power tools

  • lawnmowers

  • intruder alarms

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 4654 7777

  • Where a noise nuisance is occurring outside of Council's operating hours, you should contact the local Police.

 

Seeking Noise Abatement Orders

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.

Related Information: 

 


Construction sites

Construction site operators, owner-builders and public authority developments must comply with noise-restriction regulations under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

The hours for construction work are specified in the development consent. For information or enquiries about the approved hours of work for a specific construction project, phone Camden Council on 4654 7777 and speak to a Development Compliance Officer.