Noise

Noise Nuisance

What is noise nuisance?

Noise is generally accepted as being any sound that a person doesn’t want hear, with the result that it becomes a nuisance to an individual. Local noise nuisance can originate from a number of different residential, commercial or industrial sources such as:

  • construction or demolition works
  • air conditioning compressors
  • domestic pool pumps and spas
  • indoor venues / outdoor events
  • refrigeration equipment
  • power tools and other machinery (mowers, power tools, leaf blowers, compressors, impacting tools, mulchers)
  • bird scaring devices
  • rubbish collection, street and vegetation maintenance

Living near commercial or industrial premises can create extra noise in the neighbourhood. Although some noise may be unavoidable, it can often be controlled using improved work practices and other mitigation options.

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When should noise be reported?

In the first instance, a person should try and discuss concerns with the people (e.g. neighbours) from where the nuisance is coming from, as they may not be aware that they are causing a nuisance. Concerns should be raised and discussed, and suggestions provided to resolve problems - simple solutions can often be found that satisfy everyone.

The City of Marion will only become involved if an issue within the community (e.g. between neighbours) cannot be resolved or if the nuisance is a broad-scale issue involving multiple parties.

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What does a Council consider when investigating a noise nuisance?

An authorised officer, when determining whether noise is a nuisance must, in forming their opinion, take into account the following:

Fixed machine noise

In the case of fixed machine noise (e.g. air conditioner, pool pump) generated on domestic premises, that the noise has travelled from the domestic premises to a habitable room, or an outdoor courtyard or entertainment area, on neighbouring premises; or

In the case of noise other than fixed machine noise generated on domestic premises, that the noise has travelled from the domestic premises to neighbouring premises between the hours of:

  • 8pm and midnight on any day; or
  • midnight and 9am on Sunday; or
  • midnight and 8am on any other day.

Construction noise 

In the case of construction noise, that the noise has travelled from the location of the construction activity to neighbouring premises:

  • on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • after 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

Waste collection noise 

In the case of waste collection noise, that the noise has travelled from the place at which it was generated to neighbouring premises:

  • before 9am or after 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • after 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

Street or tree maintenance machine 

In the case of noise from a street or tree maintenance machine being used in a public place, that the noise has travelled from the public place to neighbouring premises:

  • before 9am or after 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday; or
  • after 7pm or before 7am on any other day.

In all cases, it must be taken in to account if the level, nature or extent of the noise (including its volume, pitch, vibrational frequency, prevalence or frequency of occurrence) is such as to constitute an unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of the neighbouring premises by persons occupying those premises.

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Are there any exemptions to the local nuisance laws?

In Schedule 1 of the Act, there are a number of circumstances declared not to be a nuisance. In the case of noise, this includes (but is not limited to):

  • noise from fireworks displays
  • noise from sporting activities at a sporting facility
  • noise from public infrastructure works
  • noise principally consisting of music and voices at domestic premises
  • noise from barking dogs
  • noise from vehicles, aircraft and railways
  • noise from premises licenced under the Liquor Licencing Act 1997
  • noise from normal activities undertaken at a school, kindergarten or place of worship

People noise

This includes noisy parties, loud music, etc.

Concerns regarding people noise should be directed to the Police on 131 444.

A police officer will attend and make a subjective assessment of the level of noise, taking into account factors such as the time of day, the background noise level, and other factors.

Animal noise

For further information on barking dogs, visit our Dogs page.

For further information regarding noisy parrots, birds or roosters, visit our Birds and Poultry page.

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Industrial noise

If a nuisance is coming from an industrial premises, it may be a site that is licensed by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and therefore not within the Council’s jurisdiction. These matters can be referred directly to the EPA.

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Further information

Further information can be found at the Local Government Association website.

For further information, please contact:

City of Marion
Community Health and Safety
Phone: (08) 8375 6600
Fax: 8375 6699
Email: council@marion.sa.gov.au
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047
Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046 

Environmental Protection Agency - South Australia
Phone: 8204 2004
Fax: 8124 4670
Email: epainfo@sa.gov.au
Website: EPA website
In person: Level 8, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000
Post: GPO Box 2607, Adelaide SA 5001

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