Residential noise


Noise is controlled by the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997, which stipulate a variety of control measures such as certain decibels levels for various times of day, characteristics of noise and certain noisy activities that are allowed within a given time frame.

Noise issues may be best resolved by having a friendly chat to your neighbour – they may not even be aware they are causing a problem! You can then both agree on appropriate measures or times of day that noise can be reasonably made. If you have tried to make contact with your neighbour and haven’t been able to come up with a solution, the Town’s Environmental Health Officers or the local police may be able to assist.

Parties and stereos

Noise from parties and stereos can be especially disturbing, particularly if it is excessively loud or they happen regularly. Generally, one-off parties are accepted as normal activity by neighbours, but more frequent gatherings can be upsetting.

What should you do if you intend to hold a one-off party at your house?

  • Inform your neighbours of the event including date, time of finish and a contact phone number. Generally, people will not mind noise from a celebration as long as it is a one-off event on a Friday or Saturday night, and it does not finish late.
  • A party on weeknights and Sunday nights are generally not a good idea, but if there is no other time, then a 10pm finish is suggested. On Friday and Saturday nights the finish time should be no later than midnight.
  • Start your party earlier so that it can finish earlier.
  • Hold the party inside if possible and close all doors and windows.
  • Move the party indoors after 10pm.
  • Do not use speakers outside the house.
  • Ensure that party goers do not cause a nuisance with offensive language or behaviour while at the party or when leaving.

Air conditioners

Noisy air conditioners are a common problem especially in high density residential areas where they are often sited in the wrong position, close to neighbours bedrooms. can disturb neighbours. The noise can disrupt sleep, interfere with normal daily activities and can have significant impacts on people's health. Over time air conditioners are subject to wear and tear and can become noisy.

Installation of an air conditioner that emits unreasonable noise is illegal and installers can face significant penalties. Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 places the responsibility on installers to ensure that an air conditioner does not emit unreasonable noise.

The Fair Air website has an online noise calculator which can assist with checking compliance when siting an air conditioner on a property. 

Power tools and lawnmowers etc

'Specified equipment' – equipment that requires the constant presence of an operator for normal use for example, power tools, lawn mower – is only allowed to be used from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 7pm, and Sundays and public holidays from 9am to 7pm. Specified equipment must be used in a reasonable manner and for no longer than two hours per day. This allows householders to complete general maintenance and repairs on their property.  

Waste collection

Noise from waste collection is exempt from compliance with noise levels in the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 from 7am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-7pm Sundays or public holidays. Outside of these hours, waste collection companies including Councils, must apply for an exemption.  

Security alarms

Alarms offer home owners several benefits including ‘peace of mind’ that their property is protected. However they can also cause distress if they continue to be activated unnecessarily and result in frequent complaints both to the police and local authorities. You will need to make sure your alarm system is maintained in proper working order to prevent it activating unnecessarily.

Under Section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the police have powers to enter any premises where an alarm has been sounding for 30 minutes. They can enter the premises and arrange for the alarm to be deactivated and the cost can be recovered from the owner of the house or business.

If you are regularly disturbed by alarm noise, or the alarm duration exceeds 30 minutes or it is after hours please contact the police. The Town’s Environmental Health Officers can assist you to resolve the matter but are unable to enter the premises to disarm the unit.  

Musical instruments 

Under the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997, the playing of musical instruments is permitted from:

  • 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday
  • 9am and 7pm on a Sunday or on a public holiday.

Instruments should not cause a nuisance to your neighbours and should be used in a reasonable manner.  Consider sound-proofing a room, using electronic drum kits with headphones, or using a proper studio instead of your residential premises.

Venue Noise 

If this is not occurring right now, submit a service request for advice on noise complaints. If an incident is occurring after hours contact the Police Assistance Centre on 131 444.

Report a noise

To report a neighbourhood noise issue, submit a service request here, or call (08) 9311 8111 or email

Your request will be allocated to an Environmental Health Officer or Ranger for follow-up and you may be required to submit a log sheet if the noise is reoccurring.

Related information

Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997

Environmental Protection Act 1986

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