Noise and Your Environment

There is no single government authority in Australia with overall responsibility for controlling or reducing noise pollution. The Federal Government takes responsibility in areas such as aircraft noise and emission standards for new motor vehicles, while each state's environmental protection agency regulates its environmental noise. 

Noise in Western Australia is governed by the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 (Noise Regulations). Its aim is to protect people from unnecessary disturbance from noise, defined under the Act to include any vibration of any frequency, whether transmitted through air or any other physical medium.

The legislation does however also create a number of exemptions for certain activities if they are done in accordance with set conditions. Noise which is emitted in excess of the permitted levels or not in accordance with an exemption is deemed to be unreasonable. 

The regulations address:

  • Noise passing from one premises to another.
  • Noise from public places as it affects adjacent premises.
  • Acceptable noise levels in relation to land use. 

The regulations don’t deal with:

  • Noise within one premises.
  • Noise from traffic on roads or trains (except model trains).
  • Noise from aircrafts (except model planes).
  • Noise from safety warning devices.

Further information:

Construction Sites

The noise levels generated by construction works can be very high and continuous, which can affect sleep, concentration and mental and physical health amongst residents and city workers.     

Noise from construction sites is exempt from the Environmental Protection Act between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday (excluding public holidays) if the works are being carried out in accordance with Australian standards.

Construction work may be carried out outside the permitted hours under a strict set of conditions if the applicant has obtained an out-of-hours construction approval from the Shire or addressed within an approved Construction Management Plan as part of the Development Approval or Building Permit.

Special circumstances include:

  • Where there is possibility that the community may be negatively impacted upon by the noise the application is based on, for example, the delivery of an oversized plant or structure, emergency works, maintenance, repair or works of public infrastructure, or public infrastructure works.
  • Where the applicant can demonstrate that no one within the community will be adversely impacted upon by the construction work. It is recommended you contact the site manager/supervisor as a first step towards the resolution of a construction noise issue.
  • These details are always provided on the builder’s signage at the entry to the construction site. If this does not resolve the matter, or you remain unsatisfied with the outcome, please contact the Shire.


Power Tools and Noisy Equipment

Power tools and other noisy equipment are not to be used for more than 2 hours per day between the hours of 7.00am and 7.00pm, Monday to Saturday; or between 9.00am and 7.00pm on Sunday or Public Holidays.

Please note that specific equipment or activities usually associated with a commercial operation are not deemed as reasonable use at a residential property and would need to comply with the noise limits at all times.

 Audible Security Alarms

Audible alarms can be annoying if they sound intermittently. Police have the power to gain entry and deactivate house or car alarms if they have been emitting unreasonable noise for more than 30 minutes. All requests of this type must be directed to the police on 131 444.

Air Conditioning and Ventilation Equipment

Noise emanating from air conditioning units must comply with assigned levels stated in the noise regulations. Homeowners and installers have a responsibility to ensure compliance with these levels. 

Community Events

Under the Environmental Protection Act, noises from some community activities are exempt from usual acceptable levels. Exempt noise can include children in school playgrounds, noise from fairs and fetes, crowds at sporting events, and church services and community concerts. The Shire may take action over an exempt noise if it considers the noise impacts are excessive.

Licensed Premises and Entertainment Venues

Noise associated with its many clubs, bars and nightclubs can sometimes reach levels that could be considered offensive or a nuisance. This could be from music, patrons, deliveries, or other related activities.

All liquor licensed premises are obliged to respond quickly and positively to resolve complaints received from neighbours. The Shire monitors noise from licensed premises and will investigate noise complaints associated with entertainment venues. The Liquor Control Act 1988 also contains provisions that allow action to be taken for unreasonable noise.


Tips when having a party:

  • Contact your neighbours party. This will allow them to make alternative arrangements if they choose. Give them information on when it will be starting and when you will be turning the music down organiser to call if the situation becomes unbearable
  • Register the party with the WA police at days beforehand.
  • Start your party earlier so it can finish earlier
  • Avoid using speakers outside the house the stereo is turned down.
  • If using speakers outside neighbours.
  • Move your guests inside after midnight and contain the noise.
  • Do not sing along to the music as your neighbours may not have the same appreciation for your musical talent.
  • If your neighbour approaches you with concerns about the noise, imagine yourself in their position.
  • Consider other factors for being a responsible host including invitations, food, drinks, entertainment, transport, safety, hygiene and litter.

Even if the above tips are followed neighbours can still lodge a noise complaint with the Police.

The Shire is not available to respond to noisy parties or manage behavioural problems associated with private parties. To make a complaint about a party, please call police on 131 444.


Noise inside a building can be reduced if the internal and external walls have high sound reduction measures in place. Heavy, dense materials such as brick walls are better for sound reduction, but there are lightweight solutions. For example, interior walls that have layers of plasterboard with sound-control material in the cavity can be very effective in reducing noise. Windows and doors are often the weakest link in sound insulation. Double glazing is particularly effective for windows, especially if the airspace between the two panes is as wide as possible. Solid core doors are best, particularly for those that open on to external areas. All gaps and openings around both doors and windows should be well sealed – even the smallest openings can leak significant amounts of noise.

It is recommended you engage the services of an acoustics engineer if you would like further information and assistance with installing noise reducing measures in your home.