Unreasonable noise can interfere with the health, welfare, convenience, or comfort of other people.


How can I resolve neighbourhood noise problems?

There are a few certain approaches you can take if you are unreasonably impacted by noise. In the first instance, it is advised to calmly discuss the matter with the person causing the noise. In most cases, the parties involved can meet an amicable agreement.

It is important not to wait until your tolerance threshold is exhausted. Be proactive and address the issue as soon as practical. In most instances, people may not have realised they are causing a problem and will often be happy to do what they can to help.

If this approach is not possible or is not successful, depending on the type of noise, you can consider contacting the Shire or the WA Police. If you make a complaint to us, we will need you to complete an Environmental Health Complaint Form (please see below).

Complaint Form

Noise and the Law

The Environmental Protection Act 1986 (the Act) and the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 (the Regulations) deal with noise. In accordance with the associated legislation, it is an offence to create unreasonable noise. Noise is deemed “unreasonable” if it is found to breach specified sound levels, and if it interferes with health, welfare, convenience, comfort or amenity. The Regulations set measurable assigned levels (the highest noise levels that can be received), with the maximum levels for noise varying depending on the time of day, type of premises and activities.

The time of day when a noise occurs influences its intrusiveness and annoyance. For example, making a loud noise late at night or very early in the morning may be likely to annoy your neighbours more than making the noise during the day.

Stereo Noise

Noise from stereos must meet the assigned levels. These vary for each individual property, as they are designed to take into consideration factors in the surrounding area, and the assigned levels are at their lowest from 10pm onwards. Music played after 10pm is unlikely to meet the assigned levels, but neighbours may be tolerant of this particularly for one off parties on a Friday or Saturday night where they have been notified. In general noise which can clearly be heard inside the house, particularly at night, is likely to exceed the assigned levels.

Specified Equipment

Specified equipment is any equipment that is used on a residential property and needs the constant presence of an operator for normal use. This includes lawn mowers, power tools and musical instruments. It would not include a radio as this could be left on unattended which would not meet the operator rule.

What is allowed?

You may use specified equipment in accordance with these rules:

  • Equipment, other than musical instruments operated for two hours in any day.
  • Musical instruments played for one hour in any day.
  • Equipment used between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am and 7pm Sunday and public holidays.
  • Equipment must be used in a reasonable manner.

Air Conditioners

What is allowed?

Noise from air conditioners must meet the assigned levels. These vary for each individual property as they are designed to take into consideration factors in the surrounding area. In general noise which can clearly be heard inside your house, particularly at night, is likely to exceed the assigned levels.

Responsibility of installer:

Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, places a responsibility on the installers of equipment to ensure that it does not emit unreasonable noise. An owner may also recover costs incurred when convicted of an offence which is the result of the unreasonable noise emission from this equipment. If a problem does emerge after installing an air conditioner, the owner may have options to require the installer to rectify the situation.

Air Conditioner Installation Guide

Construction Noise

Noise from a construction site is permitted under the Regulations between the hours of 7am - 7pm from Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays. Approval from the shire can be obtained in special circumstances to make noise outside of these times, and is usually for cases where it is impracticable to do the construction work during normal hours (for example, road works on a major road which would disrupt the community if undertaken during the day). In these situations, a noise management plan must be lodged with the Shire, and it is usual for the Shire to require that affected residents be notified of the works beforehand.

Please note that construction work may be undertaken at any time if it is not emitting any noise (for example, a painter using a brush or roller would not make any noise), so the work does not need to be restricted to the above times. There are no restrictions on activities such as workers arriving on site, unloading tools, or moving materials before 7am, providing this meets the assigned levels.


Traffic noise from roads is exempt from the Regulations, but any problems with individual noisy vehicles on public roads which have been modified or not properly maintained may be reported to the Police on 131 444. Similarly, noise from burnouts should be reported to the Police under the anti-hoon legislation.

Noise from vehicles on private property is not exempt from the Regulations. Vehicles exiting and entering the property will generally not create a nuisance due to the extremely short period of time taken for the travel. Vehicles operated for prolonged periods on the property (such as motorbikes ridden in the back yard) must comply with the Regulations.

Farm Vehicles on Rural Premises

Noise from farm vehicles operated between sunrise and sunset on rural premises is exempt from the Regulations. If work is taking place at night-time and is considered reasonably necessary (for example, 24-hour seeding after rain), the Regulations also do not apply.

Gas Guns (acoustic bird scaring devices)

An acoustic bird scaring device is a type of equipment used to deter birds from agricultural fields by emitting loud and often disturbing sounds. These devices are designed to create a noise that birds find aversive, which encourages them to leave the area, and therefore prevents damage to crops and orchards.

The Shire has implemented an Gas Gun Noise Management Plan (NMP) to set out an effective procedure for scaring birds which minimises disruption to nearby residents when using acoustic bird scaring devices. Its intent is to strike a balance between the legitimate need for gas guns in agriculture, and the concerns of public health, noise pollution, and environmental impact.

View the Gas Gun NMP

The Shire encourages open communication and collaboration between farmers and residents to address concerns and find mutually acceptable solutions.