When noise annoys you
There are laws that tell us what noise levels are acceptable. Yet how we respond to particular noises depends on the type of noise, the prevailing environmental conditions and how we feel about it. What is fine one day can drive us to distraction the next, and noise that is acceptable to one person may be unacceptable to another. Recognising how moods can influence our response helps judge when others are being too noisy.
So as not to escalate a situation and to maintain neighbourly relations, follow the steps below when noise annoys you:
Step1 . Don’t get worked up, talk to your neighbour. You may find your neighbours are unaware that their activities are impacting you and may be happy to amend their behaviour.
If that doesn’t work …
Step 2. Try mediation. Community Justice Centres offer a free remediation service for NSW residents. Further information and contact details are listed below.
If that doesn’t work, or if the noise is an immediate (not ongoing) issue …
Step 3. Contact council during business hours or police regarding after hours noise or if there is antisocial behaviour.
Councils Management of Noise Complaints
The responsibility of enforcing noise control regulations is a shared responsibility between the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Council, the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) and NSW Police Force.
Council manages noise complaints in accordance with the EPA guidelines for Local Government. Want more information on time restrictions? These can be found in the EPA brochure 'Dealing with Neighbourhood Noise' and Council's ‘Offensive Noise Fact Sheet' under the Related Information heading.
Further options to pursue a noise complaint
There are several options you can pursue if you are if you are dissatisfied with the response from Council:
1. Talk to people: Try to solve the problem amicably by talking to whoever is causing the noise. Often people do not realise they are being noisy and are happy to work with you to solve the problem.
2. Contact Community Justice Centres: Community Justice Centres (CJC) offer a free remediation service for NSW residents. Mediation is an informal, problem-solving process in which an impartial person (a mediator) helps people with a dispute come together to reach an agreement everyone can live with. CJC mediation is run by impartial, trained mediators. The mediators don’t take sides, or make a decision about a dispute. Their role is to make sure each person has a chance to have their say, keep the discussion on track, and help you come to an agreement wherever possible. CJC requires the participation of both parties
3. Seek a Noise Abatement Order: A Noise Abatement Order may be sought independent of Council when an individual believes offensive noise is being produced. A Noise Abatement Order requires a person to stop making an offensive noise. A Noise Abatement Order can be sought in Local Court. There are two Local Courts in Port Macquarie Hastings Council Local Government Area: 22-26 Murray Street, Port Macquarie and 41 Hastings Street, Wauchope. Breaching a Noise Abatement Order is a criminal offence.
4. Seek Legal Advice: You can seek legal advice about potential alternative solutions.
This page was last updated on: 27 February 2020