Neighbourhood noise is a common occurrence of living in a residential and urban area. If noise is causing an ongoing issue, it is recommended that you discuss your concerns with your neighbour directly. In most cases, a positive outcome can be negotiated and neighbourly relations can be maintained whilst utilising a direct communication forum. For further assistance resolving disagreements, a Community Justice Centre (CJC) can aid in this process by providing free, independent mediation between you and your neighbour. Subsequent to direct neighbourly negotiation, involving a CJC can often produce high success rate outcomes.
If you are unable to come to an agreement with your neighbour, you may lodge a complaint with City of Parramatta. To assist in City of Parramatta’s investigation of the matter, you will be required to complete and submit a Noise Observation Log that records the details of the noise nuisance you are experiencing, the times you experience the noise, the frequency of the noise, level of noise and the noise effects.
Review the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 for specific time restrictions on the use of certain potentially high noise nuisance causing articles.
The following provides a guide to when noise is not permitted to be heard inside a habitable room of a neighbouring residential premises:
Power tool, swimming pool pump, air compressor
- before 8am or after 8pm on any Sunday or Public Holiday
- before 7am or after 8pm on any other day
Musical instrument, amplified sound equipment
- before 8am and after midnight on any Friday, Saturday or day immediately before a public holiday
- before 8am and after 10pm on any other day
Air conditioner, heat pump water heater
- before 8am or after 10pm on any Saturday, Sunday or public holiday
- before 7am or after 10pm on any other day
In addition to the above time restrictions, the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) prohibits the emission of offensive noise at any time. Noise is considered offensive by reason of its level, nature, character or quality or the time at which it is made, or if it:
- is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted
- interferes unreasonably with (or is likely to interfere unreasonably with) the comfort or repose of a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted.
Complaints outside of the jurisdiction and investigation of Council
- noise from late night parties should be directed to the NSW Police (phone the Police Assistance Line on 131 444)
- noise from a vehicle on a public road should be directed to the NSW EPA or Police
- complaints regarding a licensed premises (such as pubs and clubs) should be directed to the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing
If your neighbour continues to make noise and you wish to take action further to City of Parramatta actions, you can seek a Noise Abatement Order under section 268 of the POEO Act. To apply for an order, contact your local court (in the White Pages under 'Local Courts') or on the Lawlink website. There are fees for applying for a noise abatement order.
If the court is satisfied that the neighbour is causing an offensive noise, or that the noise is likely to recur, the court may issue a cease order to the noise or prevent a recurrence. If the person fails to comply with the order, they could be prosecuted.
The person responsible for causing the noise can appeal against the order.
The NSW EPA brochure Seeking noise abatement orders contains more details.
Complaints to City of Parramatta may be made via:
- e: firstname.lastname@example.org
- p: 9806 5050
- f: 9806 5917
- m: City of Parramatta, PO Box 32, Parramatta, NSW 2124