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A Few Showers

Noise

This page contains information on noise problems including parties, musical instruments, power tools, air conditioners, traffic, waste collection and construction noise.

Noise can be associated with the activities that make Subiaco a desirable place to live.  However, unreasonable noise in the neighbourhood can be quite disturbing and has the potential to interfere with the health, welfare, convenience and comfort of fellow members of our community. 

Noise in Western Australia is governed by the Environmental Protection Act (1986) (the Act) and the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 (the Noise Regulations).

The Department of Environment Regulation deals with industries that are prescribed premises under the Act. 
The WA Police deal with such activities as noisy parties, using the 'unreasonable noise' provisions of the Act.

The city’s Environmental Health Officers use the Noise Regulations to deal with domestic, commercial and general industry noise.  The Noise Regulations aim to protect people from undue disturbances by noise and are available from the State Law Publisher.

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Dealing with a noise problem

If neighbourhood noise is a genuine problem for you, the first step is to try and amicably talk it over with the person creating the noise. In most cases, they will not realise they are causing a disturbance and will be cooperative.

If this approach is not possible or successful, further steps and the appropriate contacts for different sources of noise are set out below.

In many cases, the city can investigate on your behalf, once you have completed a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB). The form requires details such as the duration and exact location of the noise source.  Prompt and detailed completion of the form is critical to an effective investigation.

In most cases, a city officer can resolve the problem at this stage without needing to initiate any formal action.

If an informal resolution is not possible, noise measurements will need to be taken to determine whether the Noise Regulations have been breached.  Further action may be initiated depending on these measurements.
 

Licensed premises and entertainment venues

There's a myriad of live entertainment on offer in Subiaco and a range of venues, from cafés and restaurants to pubs and small bars.  Noise sources associated with these businesses can include music, patrons, deliveries and other related activities.  Sometimes this noise can reach levels that could be considered a nuisance and that affect the ability of residents to have a good night’s sleep. 

All licensed premises must act quickly to resolve complaints received from neighbours.  If you are experiencing problems relating to noise from licensed premises or venues you can contact the business directly or complete a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB) so that the city can investigate.
 

Waste collection

The city provides comprehensive street sweeping and waste collection services to ensure the health and amenity of the community and the surrounding environment.  To avoid traffic congestion in the city centre precinct, cleaning is undertaken and waste collected outside normal business hours.  Unfortunately, noise associated with these activities can cause disturbance.

The City of Subiaco is developing a noise management plan to minimise the impact of noise associated with the collection of waste and cleaning activities while allowing essential services to be provided safely, efficiently and with minimal inconvenience to the community. 

If you are regularly disturbed by waste collection or street cleaning please inform the city by completing a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB).

Traffic


Traffic noise from roads is exempt from the Noise Regulations.  If individual noisy vehicles on your local roads are causing problems, complaints can be directed to the WA Police on 131 444.

Vehicles creating unreasonable noise on private property are subject to the Noise Regulations.  Complaints about over-revving or reversing alarms while vehicles are on private property can be directed to the city using a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB).

If you have concerns about cumulative traffic noise from nearby roads, contact Main Roads Western Australia on 138 135.

Noisy parties

The city is not able to respond to noisy parties or manage behavioural problems associated with parties. If you have a complaint to make, please call Police Operations on 131 444.

If you are planning a party and don't want to upset your neighbours, try these useful tips:

  • Let your neighbour know you are having a party. Give them information on when it will be starting and when you will turn the music down.
  • If possible, keep your doors and windows closed.
  • Don't use speakers outside.
  • Start earlier and finish earlier
  • Invite your neighbours along

For more information on noise created from parties please read our noise from stereo music fact sheet (PDF, 194KB)

Security alarms

Audible alarms sounding for extended periods can be very annoying.  If a house or car alarm has been emitting unreasonable noise for more than 30 minutes the WA Police have the power to gain access and de-activate the alarm.  The city does not have equivalent powers so all complaints of this type should be directed to the police on 131 444.

Musical instruments

Noise regulations allow for the playing of musical instruments between certain times:

  • between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday
  • between 9am and 7pm Sunday and public holidays

Instruments can be played for up to one hour in any day, and must be used in a reasonable manner.

For more information on the restrictions surrounding the use of musical instruments please read our noise from musical instruments fact sheet (PDF, 103KB).

If you are unable to resolve the problem amicably, complete a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB) so that the city can investigate.
 

Power tools

Noise regulations allow the use of specified equipment, such as power tools and lawn mowers, between certain times:

  • between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday
  • between 9am and 7pm Sunday and public holidays

Equipment can be used for up to two hours in any day, and must be used in a reasonable manner.

For more information on the restrictions surrounding the use of power tools and specified equipment please read our noise from specified equipment fact sheet (PDF, 102KB).

If you are unable to resolve the problem amicably, complete a noise investigation request form so that the city can investigate.

Air conditioner noise

Noise emanating from air condition units has to comply with assigned levels. Home owners and installers have a responsibility to ensure compliance with these levels. Where the city receives an investigation request, noise measurements may be taken from the requesting residence to determine compliance.

For more information on air conditioner noise please read our air conditioner noise fact sheet (PDF, 61KB) and also refer to Department of Environment and Conservation fact sheet (PDF, 699KB) on installing a new unit.

If you are unable to resolve the problem amicably, complete a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB) so that the city can investigate.

Construction noise

Noise from a construction site is exempt from the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 between the hours of 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, excluding Sundays and public holidays. The equipment used must be the quietest reasonably available.

Construction work may be carried out outside of the hours described above, under strict conditions, if a noise management plan is approved by the city.

For more information on construction noise please read our construction noise fact sheet (PDF, 101KB)

If you are unable to resolve the problem amicably, complete a noise investigation request form (PDF, 71KB) so that the city can investigate.

Creating a quieter environment

The most important thing you can do is be thoughtful. If you know noise is going to be created that may disturb your neighbour, let them know beforehand. People can generally cope with noise if they are aware of how long it will last and they are able to make alternative arrangements, such as going out for the day.

If you would like more advice, contact the city on (08) 9237 9254.