Noise Legislation - How to deal with noisy neighbours

Noise Legislation

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act), the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the appropriate regulatory authority responsible for regulating noise from activities scheduled under the Act and activities carried out by public authorities.

Local councils are largely responsible for the management of noise in relation to non-scheduled activities, with local police also involved in neighbourhood noise issues. NSW Maritime enforces noise controls for marine vessels.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming manages noise from licensed premises such as pubs and clubs. When the Office licenses these premises, it may place environmental noise conditions on the licence. These conditions typically include a requirement that the noise from pubs and clubs should not be heard inside any home between midnight and 7 am on any night. The Office can be contacted on (02) 9995 0894.

The following tables provided by the Environmental Protection Agency are helpful when it comes to finding who to contact:

Time restrictions when noise from residential premises should not be heard inside a neighbour's residence

Noise source - from residential premises

Time restrictions when noise should not be heard in a habitable* room in a neighbour's residence

 

Power tools and equipment (powered garden tools; e.g. lawn mowers and leaf blowers; electric or pneumatic tools, chainsaws, circular saws, gas or air compressors and swimming pool or spa pumps)

Before 8 am and after 8 pm on Sundays and public holidays

Before 7 am and after 8 pm on any other day

 

Musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment (e.g. radios, TVs, tape recorders, CD and DVD players, and home theatre systems)

Before 8 am and after midnight on any Friday, Saturday or the day immediately before a public holiday

Before 8 am and after 10 pm on any other day

 

Air conditioners and heat pump water heaters

Before 8 am and after 10 pm on weekends and public holidays

Before 7 am and after 10 pm on any other day

 

Motor vehicles (except when entering or leaving residential premises)

Before 8 am and after 8 pm on weekends and public holidays

Before 7 am and after 8 pm on any other day

 

Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles**

Before 8 am and after 8 pm on weekends and public holidays

Before 7 am and after 8 pm on any other day

 

* Habitable room means any room other than a garage, storage area, bathroom, laundry, toilet or pantry.

** This applies whether or not the vehicle is located on residential premises.

The penalty for breaching the legislation is $200 for individuals and $400 for corporations. The maximum penalty that a court can impose is $5500 for individuals and $11,000 for corporations. 

Outside these hours councils and police can still place restrictions on the use of these articles if they are causing 'offensive noise'.

Councils can control offensive noise by issuing prevention notices, noise control notices or noise abatement directions. Police can issue noise abatement directions or you may seek a noise abatement order from the local court.

 

Source: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/noise/neighbourhoodnoise.htm

For helpful tips and further information can be found at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/noise/.

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