Neighbourhood Noise Regulations in NSW

Neighbourhood Noise Regulations NSW

In a previous post, we discussed the issue of noise regulations in Victoria. This post turns our attention to neighbourhood noise regulations in New South Wales.

What constitutes ‘noise’ depends on you and your surroundings. Here are some common examples:

Noise regulations in New South Wales

Domestic noise regulations

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008, the following ‘noisy’ activities or instruments should not be heard outside of the outlined times:

  • Power tools and equipment – 7am to 8pm (8am to 8pm on Sundays and public holidays).
  • Musical instruments and speakers/amplifiers – 8am to 10pm (extended until midnight on weekends and the day after public holidays).
  • Air conditioners – 7am to 10pm (8am to 10pm on weekends and public holidays).
  • Motor vehicles/refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles (other than when setting off and coming home) – 7am to 8pm (8am to 8pm on weekends and public holidays).

If any of the above regularly disrupts your peace and quiet at ungodly hours, you should contact the police or your local council, or request a noise abatement order. Fines of $200 to $400 can be imposed on those who fail to adhere to warnings.

Noise from pubs and nightclubs

If you live in close proximity to a drinking establishment, you’ll know all too well the problems that can occur when alcohol is added to the mix.

Licensed premises must abide by certain conditions, with most pubs having to restrict noise from occurring outside the premises between midnight and 7am. If these conditions are continually not being met, you should contact the Office of Liquor, Racing and Gaming.

Noisy alarms

No matter what time of day an alarm sounds, the incessant, high-pitched whine of a burglar or car alarm can be distressing.

Under Australian law, alarms should stop sounding within five to 10 minutes. If the disturbance lasts for a longer period of time, call the local council or the police. Offenders can be fined between $200 and $600 if their alarms sound continuously or intermittently.

Other sources of noise

For larger sources of noise, such as aircraft, trains, traffic or industrial complexes, you will need to contact the relevant body, whether it’s the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) or a specialist regulator, such as the Roads and Maritime Services.

Remember: if loud residents or noisy neighbours are making your life a living hell, or just a plain inconvenience, first try to come to an amicable agreement – they might not realise they’re bothering you. Turn to the above guidelines if noise is a prolonged problem.

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