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Noise can seriously disrupt people’s lives, causing loss of sleep, interference to activities and emotional stress. Fortunately, most complaints can be resolved between neighbours through a direct approach; however, if this is not successful, Council’s Environmental Health Officers or local Police can assist.
Noise complaints commonly dealt with by Environmental Health Officers are those of a continuous and excessive nature and include air conditioners, swimming pool filters, loud musical instruments and music/sound systems, construction noise, and power tools.
The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 (the Regulations) set prescribed standards for noise so that it is kept to acceptable levels. The Regulations also define procedures and penalties if the prescribed standards are exceeded. Council’s Environmental Health Officers are authorised persons under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and have been trained in the use of noise monitoring equipment to measure noise levels.
The noise regulations aim to be fair and some allowances are made for the use of equipment on residential premises such as power tools, lawn mowers and musical instruments, providing the time of day, duration of use and volume is not unreasonable.
The Regulations permit the use of power tools and lawn mowers for a duration of no more than two hours between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturdays and between 9am and 7pm on Sunday and Public Holidays. Musical instruments are permitted to be used for one hour from the beginning of the day.
Construction noise is also exempt providing it is not unreasonable and does not occur before 7am and after 7pm between Monday and Saturday. Construction noise is not allowed on Sundays or Public Holidays without special approval.
To contact the Environmental Health Officers, please call the Town on 08 9285 4300.
Police Officers are also empowered under the noise regulations to deal with noise complaints and should be contacted for after hours complaints particularly when involving noisy parties and antisocial behaviour.
Police Communications should be contacted on 131 444 for complaints involving noisy parties, loud music or disturbances after office hours.
Similarly the WA Police have the power to silence audible security alarms. If they are satisfied that the alarm has been causing unreasonable noise for at least 30 minutes, they may take reasonable steps to the stop the alarm under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (the Act). Police Officers will call out an alarm technician to disconnect the faulty alarm. The Act permits the Department of Environment Regulation to recover full cost of the disconnection from the owner of the premises. Further information is available on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation website.