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Noise

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 (the Act) came into effect as of 1 July 2017. The Act formalises the role of Local Government in managing local nuisance issues to provide consistency of services in relation to littering and activities that cause nuisance at a local level, such as noise, smoke, odour and dust. 

Local noise nuisance can originate from residential, commercial or industrial sources including:

  • Construction Activities
  • Demolition and Concrete Pours
  • Air conditioning units
  • Pool pumps and spas
  • Events and festivals
  • Generators
  • Power Tools
  • Machinery
  • Mowers, leaf blowers and mulchers
  • rubbish collection
  • street and street tree maintenance

When should noise be reported?

In the first instance discussing concerns with source of the nuisance (ie neighbour or business where the noise is being created) is encouraged as they may not be aware.  Often just making the other party aware that the activity is causing a nuisance encourages them to address the issue. 

Council will become involved if an issue within the community cannot be resolved between the neighbours or if the nuisance is a broad-scale issue involving multiple parties.  The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act specifies what can constitute a local nuisance and can therefore be investigated by Council.  Council does not have authority to address other nuisance activities not covered in the act.

It is an offence under the Act to cause a noise nuisance and penalties apply. If a matter is ongoing, a Nuisance Abatement Notice may be issued specifying a certain period within which the offender must rectify the problem. 

If a nuisance is emanating from an industrial premises, it may be a site that is licensed by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and therefore not within the council’s jurisdiction. These matters can be referred directly to the EPA.

What does a Council consider when investigating a noise nuisance?

When investigating whether noise is a nuisance Council Officers in forming their opinion, take into account the following:

Noise on domestic premises

In the case of fixed machine noise (e.g. air conditioner, pool pump) generated on domestic premises, that the noise has travelled from the domestic premises to a habitable room, or an outdoor courtyard or entertainment area, on neighbouring premises; or

In the case of noise other than fixed machine noise generated on domestic premises, that the noise has travelled from the domestic premises to neighbouring premises between the hours of:

  • 8pm and midnight on any day; or
  • midnight and 9am on Sunday; or
  • midnight and 8am on any other day.

Construction noise 

In the case of construction noise, that the noise has travelled from the location of the construction activity to neighbouring premises:

  • on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • after 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

Waste collection noise 

In the case of waste collection noise, that the noise has travelled from the place at which it was generated to neighbouring premises:

  • before 9am or after 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • after 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

Street or tree maintenance machine 

In the case of noise from a street or tree maintenance machine being used in a public place, that the noise has travelled from the public place to neighbouring premises:

  • before 9am or after 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • after 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

In all cases, it must be taken in to account if the level, nature or extent of the noise (including its volume, pitch, vibrational frequency, prevalence or frequency of occurrence) is such as to constitute an unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of the neighbouring premises by persons occupying those premises.

Are there any exemptions to the local nuisance laws?

In Schedule 1 of the Act, there are a number of circumstances declared not to be a nuisance. In the case of noise, this includes (but is not limited to):

  • noise from fireworks displays
  • noise from sporting activities at a sporting facility
  • noise from public infrastructure works
  • noise consisting of music and voices at domestic premises
  • noise from barking dogs
  • noise from vehicles and railways
  • noise from premises licensed under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997
  • noise from normal activities undertaken at a school, kindergarten or place of worship

People noise

People noise including loud parties, music and voices should be directed to the Police on 131 444. 

Animal noise

For information on noise associated with barking dogs, visit our Dogs page.

For information regarding noisy parrots, birds or roosters, visit our Birds and Poultry page.

Who to call for help?

Community Safety
Phone: (08) 8408 1198
Email: council@charlessturt.sa.gov.au

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