Acceptable noise levels and complaints
Noise can disrupt sleep and interfere with daily activities. If loud enough, it can also have a negative impact on people's health.
Council does not deal with noise complaints about:
- music, loud stereos, parties, rowdy behaviour and burglar alarms. Contact the Queensland Police on 13 14 44
- premises with a liquor licence that are not located within the Special Entertainment Precinct as identified in the Brisbane City Plan 2000. Contact the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation on 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
- state government properties or activities that are regulated by the state government. Contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 1300 130 372
- off-road noisy vehicles and trail bikes. Contact the Queensland Police on 13 14 44
- on-road noisy vehicles and trail bikes. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 23 80
- native animals and birds, such as crows. Contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 1300 130 372.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 provides exemptions from noise created from traffic signals, railway signals and road noise.
Other local government activity exemptions include:
- road maintenance
- maintaining water and sewage services
- preventing or removing public health risks.
Some noise regulations include a maximum loudness in decibels. Here are usual decibel levels for everyday situations:
- quiet room in the house - 20 to 30 decibels
- daytime in a quiet residential street - 35 to 45 decibels
- large busy office - 50 to 60 decibels
- lawn mower from 15 metres away - 70 decibels.
Brisbane City Council can issue an on-the-spot fine or a Direction Notice for nuisance residential noise. A Direction Notice will detail the offence and the timeframe the offender has to fix the problem. If the Direction Notice is not complied with, Council may issue an on-the-spot fine or prosecute the offender in severe cases.
Commercial and industrial premises
Some commercial and industrial properties have development approvals and conditions which must be complied with. If a company does not comply, Council may issue a Show Cause Notice or an Enforcement Notice.
An Enforcement Notice can require the company to comply with the development conditions, take specific action or stop the activity causing the noise issues. Council can also prosecute under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 outlines allowable noise levels for different types of equipment and activities.
How to lodge a complaint
Find out how to lodge a complaint about a nuisance issue.