Noise

Neighbourhood noise, such as noise from animals, alarms, machines and parties can be annoying and very frustrating to those involved, however, Council will no longer be dealing with this type of request.

Noise that disturbs you can often be resolved without involving Council, other government agencies or authorities.

The Office of Environment & Heritage produces a brochure, Dealing with Neighbourhood Noise that outlines steps you can take to prevent noise being an issue for you.

Talk to your neighbours

Try to solve the problem amicably by talking to whoever is causing the noise that is affecting you. The person may not know that the noise is affecting you or is a problem. Often people are happy to work with you to solve the problem.

Community Justice Centre

If talking to your neighbours does not solve the issue, you can contact the Community Justice Centre. Community Justice Centre's are independent centres that specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering complicated legal processes. Services are free, confidential and voluntary. For more information contact the Community Justice Centre.

Local Court

The Chamber Magistrate at the Local Court for a Noise Abatement Order. These orders may be issued by the Magistrate when it is clear the noise has caused a nuisance and you have tried to resolve the issue by other means. Call Newcastle Local Court on 02 4921 2200 for further information.

Barking dogs

Council encourages negotiation between neighbours in an attempt to resolve the problem. Such negotiations can be conducted between each party or with the assistance of an independent mediator through a forum such as a Community Justice Centre. Advice and further information on Community Justice Centres can be obtained by contacting 1800 990 777.

Alarms

Motor Vehicles

For vehicles, it is an offence for an alarm to sound for more than:

  • 45 seconds for cars manufactured after 1 September 1997; or
  • 90 seconds for older cars.

The sounding of motor vehicle intruder alarms is regulated under the Protection of Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008. Motor vehicle intruder alarms should not sound for more than:

  • more than 90 seconds for vehicles manufactured prior to 1 September 1997; or
  • more than 45 seconds for vehicles manufactured on or after 1 September 1997.

Building

The sounding of building intruder alarms is regulated under the Protection of Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008.

Building alarms should not emit noise that can be heard in any residential premises for a period more than:

  • ten minutes if installed before 1 December 1997 or
  • five minutes if installed after 1 December 1997

Noise from vehicles

Australian Road Rule 291 requires that vehicles do not emit 'unnecessary noise' such as noise from intentional wheel spins and 'doughnuts'. The Police can impose two demerit points and a fine.

The Roads & Maritime Services also has additional noise control legislation it can use for noise checks on heavy vehicles at heavy vehicle inspection stations.

Noise from domestic equipment

The Protection of Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 places time limits on the use of certain articles on residential properties.

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 eg lawn mowers and leaf blowers -electric or pneumatic tools, chainsaws, circular saws, gas or air compressors and swimming pool or spa pumps)

8pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays

8pm to 7am on weekdays and Saturdays

Musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment (eg radios, TVs, tape recorders, CD and DVD players, and home theatre systems) Midnight to 8am on Friday, Saturday
Air conditioners and heat pump water heaters

10pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays

10pm to 7am on weekdays

Motor vehicles (except when entering or leaving residential premises)

8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays

8pm to 7am on weekdays

Refrigeration units fitted to motor vehicles

8pm to 8am on weekends and public holidays

8pm to 7am on weekdays

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

Noisy Parties

Please contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. Police are the agency that is best equiped to deal with the often associated anti social behaviour.

A person's evaluation of noise is subjective and can affect people in different ways, police can only take action where an officer is satisfied that offensive noise has or is occurring.