an image of many stereos


​​​​​​​Noise is defined as unwanted sound. It can cause a disturbance and can affect the health and amenity of surrounding residents. 

If you have a concern about noise in your neighbourhood, the City recommends you first approach your neighbour to explain how the noise is affecting you. Often your neighbours may not even realise that they are disturbing other residents. Negotiate with your neighbours and keep each other informed of any potentially noisy events such as parties. 

The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 specify assigned noise levels that should not be exceeded. These levels vary depending on the time of day and the day of the week, and become strict after 7pm and stricter past 10pm. If you can hear noise from your property at your boundary line past 10pm the levels are almost certainly above the permitted levels and may be impacting your neighbour.


For certain activities there is exemptions from the noise regulations if they are done in accordance with set conditions. Where noise is emitted outside of the assigned noise levels or not in accordance with these set conditions, it is deemed to be unreasonable. 

The below table outlines some of these conditions:





Musical Instrument Use

Up to one hour a day permitted between: 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday or 9am to 7pm Sunday & Public Holidays. It is deemed reasonable that a resident can practice a musical instrument for up to an hour a day over the permitted dB levels.  Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 r.14(2)(b)(ii)

Hand Held/Operated Equipment

Up to two hours a day permitted between: 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday or 9am to 7pm Sunday & Public Holidays. It is deemed reasonable that a resident can use hand operated tools or equipment (hammers, drills, lawn mower, whipper snipper etc.) for a maximum two hours a day - when operated in an appropriate manner. Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 r.14(2b)(b)(i)

Construction Work

Anytime between:  7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday (unless otherwise approved by the City).

Construction work is often required in residential areas and is deemed reasonable when carried out appropriately. See also: Building and construction site management for advice on Noise Management Plans. Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 r.13(3)

Waste Collection

Anytime between: 7am – 7pm, Monday – Saturday and  9am – 7pm Sunday & Public Holidays (unless otherwise approved by the City). Noise from waste collection is deemed reasonable when carried out appropriately. Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 r.14A

Vehicle Noise

  Vehicle noise (from a vehicle operating on a road) is exempt from the regulations, car stereos need to comply with the permitted levels, but the noise from the operation of the vehicle is exempt. Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 r.3

People Noise / Voices

  People noise (talking, yelling, crying baby etc.) is not investigated by the City under the relevant regulations.    


  There are other exemptions related to emergency works, safety alarms, trains, safety beepers and approved concert or event noise.  

Noise complaints and investigation

If you are unsuccessful resolving the matter with your neighbour, you can lodge a formal complaint for the City's Health Services team to investigate. You will need to complete and return a Noise investigation request form including the noise log sheet. It is recommended that you complete the log sheet with as much detail possible. This will ensure that the matter can be handled promptly.

The City's Health Services can assist with enquiries about the following types of noise sources, and investigate complaints regarding:

  • Stereo noise and music instruments
  • Construction noise, commercial and industrial noise
  • Hand held equipment (including lawn mowers, hammers etc)
  • Roosters and other noisy birds
  • Air conditioner units and other equipment noise
  • Alarms
  • See also: Barking dogs (investigated by our Rangers team)

The City’s Health Services cannot investigate noise associated with:

*Please contact the Local Police for advice and assistance on 131 444.

Information sheets

For further information on specific noise issues, please see the information sheets below. 

If you require further information, please contact the City's Health Services on 9394 5000 or via email at

Page Last Reviewed 14 December 2023