Neighbourhood Noise

Noise is classified as unwanted sound.  Too much noise can seriously disrupt peoples’ lives, causing loss of sleep, interference to activities and emotional stress. 

Many of us have been disturbed from time to time by neighbourhood noise. As a first point of call you should always attempt to resolve any dispute with a neighbour by talking to them and trying to reach a satisfactory solution. 

This information sheet is to give residents further direction on the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.  

Fixed Equipment

When installing fixed equipment such as air conditioners and pool pumps, remember that they may be operated for several hours per day and sometimes when neighbours are trying to sleep. Constant noise can become very annoying even if it does comply with Australian Standards.  It is advisable, if possible, to position fixed equipment away from neighbours and sleeping areas, and to ensure they're regularly maintained to ensure they operate as quietly as possible.

Noise emanating from air conditioning units must comply with assigned levels stated in the noise regulations. Homeowners and installers have a responsibility to ensure compliance with these levels. Where the shire receives an investigation request, noise measurements may be taken from the requesting residence to determine compliance.

Party Noise, Music & Anti-Social Behaviour

The Shire of Plantagenet is not available to respond to noisy parties or respond to complaints related to anti-social behaviour such as shouting, yelling or screaming.

These matters are best reported to the Police as these issues are something the shire has no control over. Similarly issues of an abusive, threatening or intimidating nature are a Police matter.

If the noise is in relation to any of these matters you are encouraged to call the Police directly on 131 444.

Loud music accounts for up to 40% of all noise enquiries received. As a guide, music that is clearly audible at the boundary of a property may cause a disturbance and is likely to exceed allowable noise levels. Music with a dominant bass component can be disturbing even when it doesn’t appear to be loud.

The hosting of the occasional party or a 'one off' large party is not considered excessive noise provided consideration is given to your neighbours. If you are considering entertaining outside, it may be worth trying the following suggestions to avoid strained relationships with your neighbours.

  • Start your party earlier in the day so that it can finish earlier.
  • Avoid using speakers outside the house.
  • Let your neighbours know about the party time and the time you expect to finish.
  • Adjust the volume control (especially the bass) to ensure the music does not annoy your neighbours.
  • If possible, move your guests inside if the party is likely to finish late at night (after midnight) and close all windows and doors to contain the noise to your home.

Noise Regulations Fact Sheet- Bass or 'Doof Doof' Music

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments such as guitars and drums are classified by the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 as specified equipment, which is any equipment that needs the constant presence of an operator for normal use. Regulations/Restrictions on using musical instruments Musical instrument may be used:

  • For not more than one (1) hour in any day.
  • Between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00 pm Monday to Saturday or 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Sunday and Public Holidays.

The regulations relating to the practice of a musical instrument does not confer approval for band rehearsals or performances of a smaller nature. Actions you can take

  • All practice of musical instruments cannot be accompanied by recorded or broadcasted amplified music or sounds as this amplified noise does not have any exemptions. If noise from a musical instrument is causing you concern, you may find it helpful to take one or more of the following steps;
  • Speak to the person using the musical equipment to make them aware that it causes you concern. It may be helpful to let the person know that it affects you, as they may not realise it causes you concern, and it gives them the opportunity to change their actions.
  • See whether or not you can come to an agreement on the time of the day at which the instrument is played, or for how long it is used.

Should the use of the equipment still be unreasonable, please be advised that the Shire of Plantagenet Environmental Health Officer can only take further action if there is evidence that:

  1. Any of the restrictions mentioned above relating to the use of musical instruments have not been complied with.
  2. The musical instrument has been operated for longer than one hour at sound levels that exceed the assigned noise levels specified by the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.

 Power Tools

The use of power tools is inherently noisy so some careful consideration by the user should be adhered to.

The use of power tools should be restricted to between 7am and 7pm Mondays to Saturdays with a later start of 9am on Sundays and Public Holidays, and operated for no longer than 2 hours per day. 

The equipment should be in good working order and compatible with the work being undertaken.  If using a static unit such as a brick saw or compressor it is advisable to position it away from neighbours and sleeping areas.

Noisy equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers and whipper-snippers should be used later in the day to avoid disturbance.

Noise Regulations Fact Sheet- Residential Equipment

Construction Sites

Work that creates noise on a building site can be carried out between 7am and 7pm on Monday to Saturday (excluding public holidays) provided:

  • The equipment is the quietest reasonably available; and
  • Construction work is carried out in accordance with the control of environmental noise practices set out in section 6 of the Australian Standard 2436 – 1981.

For work carried out on a Sunday or public holidays, the builder will need to have an approved noise management plan which should include how they propose to do the work and respond to any complaints should they arise.

Noise Regulations Fact Sheet- Construction Sites

Noise Management Plan Approval Application

Intruder Alarms

Noise arising from the activation of audible intruder alarms can often cause considerable disturbance. If an alarm has been sounding for thirty minutes or more, contact the local police.

Noise Regulations Fact Sheet- Audible Alarms

Audible Vehicle Reversing Alarms

Reversing alarms are commonly fitted to plant and heavy vehicles across a wide range of industries. The noise made by these alarms falls into one of two categories: tonal and broadband.

See the below fact sheet for more details:

Noise Regulations Fact Sheet- Reversing Alarms

Noise on Rural Premises

The noise regulations around Rural Premises are different to those in other residential areas, the below fact sheet provides clarity around this.

Noise Regulations Fact Sheet- Rural Premises

Further information

A copy of the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 can be found on the State Law Publisher website at