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.
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.
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.
For vehicles, it is an offence for an alarm to sound for more than:
- 45 seconds for cars manufactured after 1 September 1997
- 90 seconds for older cars.
The sounding of motor vehicle intruder alarms is regulated under the Protection of Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017. Motor vehicle intruder alarms should not sound for more than:
- more than 90 seconds for vehicles manufactured prior to 1 September 1997
- more than 45 seconds for vehicles manufactured on or after 1 September 1997.
The sounding of building intruder alarms is regulated under the Protection of Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017.
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 and 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 2017 places time limits on the use of certain articles on residential properties.
Please contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. Police are the agency that is best equipped 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.