Council has some power to investigate offensive noise, though it is generally best to try to resolve the problem without involving the authorities.

What can you do about loud noise?

Step 1: Keep a noise diary to record when and how the noise is affecting you.

Step 2: Discuss your concerns with the person causing the noise. Often people do not realise they are being noisy and will work with you to solve the problem. You could also send them a letter outlining your concerns. You might find this letter template useful .

Step 3: If the noise continues, seek mediation with your neighbour through the Community Justice Centre.

Step 4: If the noise continues you can report the matter to Council, along with your completed noise diary. Council officers will need to see documentation from the Community Justice Centre to prove mediation has been attempted.

Please note that Council has no power over people speaking, laughing or shouting. If this type of noise is causing a disturbance you may wish to contact your local police station.

Noise restrictions

In residential areas there are restrictions on when certain noises can be made. The following table spells them out:

Noise Source
(from residential premises)
Time restrictions when noise should not be heard in a habitable room in a neighbour’s residence
Chain saws
Circular saws
Electric or pneumatic tools
Gas or air compressors
Lawn mowers
Leaf blowers
Powered garden tools
Power tools
Monday to Friday:
8pm to 7am

Weekends or Public Holidays:
8pm to 8am
Musical instruments
Sound equipment
Monday to Thursday and Sunday:
10pm to 8am

Friday, Saturday or any day preceding a Public Holiday:
midnight to 8am
Heat pump water heaters
Swimming pool/spa pumps
Monday to Friday:
10pm to 7am

Weekends or Public Holidays:
10pm to 8am
Refrigeration units fitted to a motor vehicle Monday to Friday:
8pm to 7am

Weekends or Public Holidays:
8pm to 8am
Burglar/Intruder Alarm in Vehicles
Cars manufactured before 1 September 1997:
more than 90 seconds

Cars manufactured on/after 1 September 1997:
more than 45 seconds
in Buildings

Installed before 1 December 1997: more than 10 minutes
Installed on/after 1 December 1997: more than 5 minutes 

For more information please visit the NSW Environment Protection Authority

If you have any further questions about noise issues visit the website of the Environment Protection Authority or phone 9995 5000.