Noise nuisance

Residential noise that occurs early in the morning, late at night, on weekends or public holidays can disturb neighbours, disrupt sleep and interfere with lifestyle.

Council helps manage noise at residential premises to ensure compliance with noise standards and emissions criteria under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

FACT SHEET

  • The law

    The Environmental Protection Act 1994 prescribes noise standards for building work, regulated devices, pumps, air-conditioning equipment, refrigeration equipment and the operation of power boat engines on waterways and at premises.

    Council is legally required to enforce these standards. If issues between neighbours cannot be resolved, Council will investigate. Council may issue direction notices or on-the-spot fines if noise standards are not complied to.

    A residential noise nuisance occurs if:

    • Noise is emitted from an activity outside of the allowable hours outlined below and can be heard at an affected building.
    • The level of noise exceeds the allowable limits when heard at an affected building.
    • The frequency and/or duration of the noise is considered to be excessive.
    • The tonality and pitch of noise is considered to be offensive.
  • Noise nuisances dealt with by Queensland Police Service

    Police Officers, pursuant to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, regulate environmental nuisance caused by excessive noise that is emitted from a place by:

    • a musical instrument;
    • an appliance for electrically producing or amplifying music or other sounds (televisions, stereos, gaming devices, security alarms etc.);
    • a motor vehicle other than a motor vehicle on a road (Note: noise from vehicles on roads is governed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads);
    • a gathering of people for a meeting, party, celebration or similar occasion.
    • Noise emitted by a motorbike being driven on a place that is not a road (Note: vehicle noise on roads is governed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads).
    • Noise emitted from within a motor vehicle on a road or in a public place (e.g. amplified music).
    • Contact your local Police Station for further advice.

    Noise created by vehicles hooning on the road may be reported to the Hoon Hotline 13 46 66. The vehicle description, registration number and location need to be provided.

  • The Office of Liquor and Gaming and Regulation (OLGR) regulated noise emitted from premises with a liquor licence (i.e. pubs, clubs, hotels). To lodge a complaint with OLGR telephone 13 74 68.

  • Noise from premises located in a Body Corporate Complex

    Under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, Body Corporates have jurisdiction over environmental nuisances within the complex. 
    Contact your body corporate or complex manager to lodge a complaint. 
     

Noise and permitted hours

The following times relate to the use of regulated devices including the use of regulated devices to perform general building/renovation activities around the home, where a building approval is not required.

Regulated devices - generators, power tools, compressors, and lawn mowers. 
DAYS TIMES NOISE
Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm Permitted
Monday to Saturday 7pm to 7am NOT permitted
Sunday and Public Holidays 8am to 7pm Permitted
Sunday and Public Holidays 7pm to 8am NOT permitted

The following times relate to building activities that require a building approval and applies to builders, sub-contractors and other professions engaged to work for, or on behalf of, a builder. 

Building Work
DAYS TIMES NOISE
Monday to Saturday 6.30am to 6.30pm Permitted
Monday to Saturday 6.30pm to 6.30am  NOT permitted
Sundays and Public Holidays n/a NOT permitted
Air-conditioning, refrigeration equipment, swimming pool /spa pumps, other pumps

Air-conditioning equipment and refrigeration equipment is permitted to operate all day, every day, however noise from these units should not exceed certain levels. 
Pumps can be electrical, mechanical or pneumatic devices such as swimming and spa pool pumps, air pumps or heating/cooling pumps and noise should not exceed certain levels.

EQUIPMENT TIMES DECIBEL / LEVEL
Air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment  7am - 10pm not to exceed 5dB(A) above background noise
Air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment 10pm - 7am not to exceed 3dB(A) above background noise
Pumps 7am - 7pm not to exceed 5dB(A) above background noise
Pumps 7pm - 10pm not to exceed 3dB(A) above background noise
Pumps 10pm - 7am NOT permitted
Boats and recreational water engines

Power boats and jet-ski's - in waterways - including water skiing, wake boarding or tobogganing/tube riding and use of jet skis for purposes other than fishing.
Power boats and jet-ski's - at premises - power boat engines at a premises, including for the purpose of flushing the engine.

POWER BOATS / JET SKI'S TIMES DAYS NOISE
In waterway 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday Permitted
In waterway 7pm to 7am Monday to Saturday Permitted, no more than 2mins continuous in 1 location
In waterway 8am to 6.30pm Sunday and Public Holidays Permitted
In waterway 6.30pm to 8am Sunday and Public Holidays Permitted, no more than 2mins continuous in 1 location
On premise / land (flushing) 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday Permitted
On premise / land (flushing) 7pm to 7am Monday to Saturday NOT permitted
On premise / land (flushing) 8am to 6.30pm Sunday and Public Holidays Permitted
On premise / land (flushing) 6.30pm to 8am Sunday and Public Holidays NOT permitted

For further information, please call Council’s Environmental Health team on 1300 79 49 29.