Building work noise
Building work noise applies to owner-builders and any person other than the residential occupier of a premise carrying out any of the below activities at the residence:
- building, repairing, altering, underpinning, moving or demolishing a building
- providing air conditioning, drainage, heating, lighting, sewerage, ventilation or water supply for a building
- excavating, filling or retaining work in conjunction with building work
- installing or removing scaffolding.
If noise from building work can be heard from within the affected building during the following times, the person carrying out the building work may be issued with a fine.
- 6.30pm to 6.30am Monday to Saturday
- any time on Sunday or public holidays (normal Saturday restrictions apply for Saturday public holidays).
In some circumstances, activities and equipment operating within the prescribed times may still be deemed a nuisance when assessed against certain noise criteria. In this situation the responsible person may be issued a Direction Notice.
If a development condition is inconsistent with a noise level detailed in the Environmental Protection Act 1994 the person/company must comply with the development condition. In some cases you may need to comply with requirements imposed by the development condition and the times outlined above.
These noise restrictions may not apply if Council has issued an approval for specific equipment or activities as part of a development approval.
Ways to reduce noise
To help reduce building noise, you can:
- limit work hours
- select quieter equipment or use alternatives
- carry out work as far away as possible from neighbours and away from sensitive areas such as bedroom windows
- regularly service your equipment - lack of maintenance can cause higher noise levels
- erect a solid fence or barrier
- install an acoustic enclosure for fixed equipment such as compressors or vacuum equipment
- modify equipment - discuss this option with the manufacturer or installer.
It is recommended to display a sign on the work site or distribute leaflets explaining the building work hours and duration of operation if you plan to complete building work that may be noisy. This includes work such as jack hammering, concrete cutting and pouring, discuss this with nearby residents beforehand.
How to lodge a complaint
If building work noise is outside the allowable hours, Council will attend the site to conduct an investigation. To report noise complaints, phone Council on 07 3403 8888. It is preferable to phone when the noise is occurring to ensure a prompt response.
If you are not comfortable having Council attend your property, you can submit specific information and evidence to Council. This information includes:
- an environmental nuisance diary
- any other form of evidence supporting your complaint; and
- a statutory declaration that the information you provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge.
It is important to note, statutory declarations and supplementary information can be used as supporting evidence for enforcement action. In these circumstances, you may be required to present the evidence before the court.
Environmental Nuisance Diary
Before Council can take further action we need to understand your complaint and how it impacts you.
You must complete an environmental nuisance diary. The diary must be returned to Council within 20 working days if the complaint is not resolved. The information provided in the diary helps Council to action your complaint.
Council encourages the use of technology to record regulated building noise. This can assist to substantiate a complaint and be good supporting evidence. For example, you could provide a video of the builder creating the alleged noise nuisance, or an audio recording accompanied by a picture of the activity creating the alleged nuisance can be good supporting evidence.
When you submit a recording, a video or a picture to Council certain particulars need to accompany that submission in order to ensure it is useful to the investigating officer.
The particulars needed to accompany the electronic evidence include:
- When the recording, video or picture was taken –
- The time;
- Your name;
- Your location;
- The location of the building noise being recorded;
- Where the recording was taken at your residence;
- Where you placed the recorder to record the building noise;
- When you finish recording please state the time again.
Let the recorder run uninterrupted for the entire time
- Provide a short declaration (via Word version or PDF version) that the information you provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge.
Failure to provide the above information in support of your electronic evidence may lessen the value of the evidence.