Noise

Unwanted or unreasonable noise can have a significant impact on the amenity of the area. There is state legislation controlling the level of noise to which you can be exposed. These laws also restrict the way certain noisy equipment can be used.

If you are experiencing an unreasonable level of noise from a neighbouring property, please read our information on Neighbourhood Noise, below, before discussing the issue with your neighbour.

If the noise problem persists after speaking to your neighbour, you can lodge a formal complaint with Council's Health Service by completing Health Investigation Request Form and returning it to us.

Vehicle Noise

The legislation mentioned above only applies to vehicles when they are on private property, for example, the use of trail bikes on large properties. The City is unable to take any action when the vehicle is on a public road. Noise from aircraft and trains is also exempt.

Waste Services Noise

A draft Noise Management Plan has been proposed for the noise impact from pre-7am works carried out by the City of Kalamunda and how it will be managed and minimised. Plans have been prepared for footpath sweeping, road sweeping and litter bin servicing. For more information on waste services noise and the noise Management Plan, contact Waste Services on (08) 9257 9999.

After Hours Noise
Unfortunately the City is unable to respond to after hour noise complaints. If you are experiencing difficulty with noise after hours, such as a party, please contact the Police for assistance. If the complaint is ongoing, please discuss the issue with your neighbour in the first instance, and then complete and return a Health Investigation Request Form.

Neighourhood Noise

Noisy Equipment on Residential Properties

Equipment like lawn mowers and trail bikes should be operated on residential properties for no more than two (2) hours between 7am and 7pm on Monday to Saturday or 9am and 7pm on a Sundays or public holidays.

Musical instruments may be used for no more than 1 hour each day between 7am and 7pm on Monday to Saturday or 9am and 7pm on a Sunday or public holiday.

Construction Sites

Noise from construction sites does not have to comply with the permitted noise levels where the equipment is the quietest reasonably available and where the noise occurs between 7am and 7pm on any day which is not a Sunday or public holiday. Where work occurs that is outside of these times, it is generally best to contact the builder concerned.

Noise from Animals and Pets

Noise from pets such as roosters, peacocks and cockatoos can be equally disruptive in residential areas. Unlike barking dogs, which are controlled by the Dog Act, noise from other pets must comply with certain set noise levels as a re other noise sources.

Generally owners of roosters, peacocks and cockatoos can eliminate noisy mornings by keeping the cages inside or covered with a dark, close-weave cloth in the morning.

Roosters and peacocks may also be kept quiet by keeping them overnight in a box or cage which allows them to comfortably stand, but does not allow them to extend their neck to crow.

Stereos, Pool Pumps, Air Conditioners and Other Noise Sources

Other noise sources on residential properties such as stereos, pool pumps and airconditioners can be equally disruptive in residential areas. Noise from these sources is required to be within set noise levels.

Approaching your neighbour if they have equipment that is disturbing you may assist you to negotiate a way of reducing the impact of this noise on your property.

Community Activities and Noise

Some occasional community activities are not bound to meet noise restrictions, including:

  • noise from spectators at a sporting activity;
  • noise from calls to worship (eg. church bells) or associated with divine worship;
  • noise from recreational or educational activities; and
  • noise from agricultural shows, fairs, fetes and similar events.

Where a community event is likely to exceed the reasonable noise levels set by legislation, the organising committee may apply to Council for permission to exceed that noise level. However, monitoring requirements and a maximum permitted level of noise may still be applied.

Vehicle Movements and Traffic Noise

Noise associated with motor vehicles and traffic on the road, aircraft and train noise are not bound by the noise regulations. Similarly, if a machine has a safety warning device fitted and it is not practicable to reduce the volume of the warning, noise from these devices are not bound by these noise restrictions.

Where noise creates a problem, the quickest and easiest solution is generally to approach the owner of the property that is the source of the noise. This provides you the opportunity to negotiate a solution with your neighbour, and gives your neighbour the opportunity to fix the problem.

When approaching your neighbour regarding neighbourhood noise doesn't work, formal investigation of the noise may be requested by completing a City of Kalamunda Health Investigation Request Form, which may be obtained from the City Administration Centre.

Guidelines for Solving Neighbourhood Issues

It is natural that in the course of day to day living that some activities may result in noise, dust, and other effects, that might affect those living with you or on other nearby properties. While it is acceptable for some activities to be undertaken that might create smoke, dust, fumes or odours, these effects must be within legal levels.

So when people engage in activities on their property, they should ensure that the noise, smoke, dust, fumes, odours, or accumulations of solid or liquid waste that might result does not adversely effect surrounding properties. Similarly, they should ensure that activities on their land do not result in the breeding or attraction of pests.

Neighbourhood Noise – Steps to Take

The first thing to do regarding any noise nuisance problem is to politely advise your neighbour of the problem and request that they take the necessary action to solve the problem, eg. politely ask them to stop or reduce the noise level.

If, following speaking to your neighbour, the problem persists, you might try mediation or use a Dispute Resolution Service.

Animals, Smoke, Odours & Other Issues

There are regulations determining what noise is acceptable and on how noisy equipment like lawn mowers and musical instruments may be used. Council's leaflet titled Neighbourhood Noise (attached) has additional information on noise requirements. With other issues, like dust or odour, there may be local or state laws to protect the health, safety and amenity of your neighbourhood. You may be able to lodge a formal complaint with Council's Health Service by completing a Health Investigation Request Form (HIRF) and returning it to us.

In some instances, such as with barking dogs, there is specific legislation that can be used to address the problem.

In other instances, such as with loud parties and music late at night, if the property owner has not addressed the noise level, you may choose to contact the police for assistance.

How Do I Approach My Neighbour? Tips on Negotiation

  • Use a Win/Win approach: Identify each party’s needs and focus on achieving an acceptable outcome for both sides. Sometimes focusing on what each party needs helps more than trying to immediately look for a solution. Keep the language "clean" & polite.
  • Aim to come to a consensus & build a solution together: Consider your expectations; it may be unrealistic to expect the other person to immediately fix or respond to the problem. Resolution may require a compromise from both parties.
  • Summary

    • Focus on the problem NOT attack the person.
    • Identify each party's needs.
    • Emphasise your common ground.
    • Be inventive for solutions.
    • Ensure details of the agreed solution are clearly understood and accepted by all parties.

    Advice on Verbal Attacks

    Sometimes people shout when they are angry or upset or if they feel they aren't being heard. In this situation it can be hard to resist the urge to either run away or shout back. It is important to try to stay calm and resist the urge to rise to the bait or retaliate.

    It may help the other person to calm down if you acknowledge their viewpoint to let them know that you are listening to what they are saying. This doesn't mean you have to agree; you can respectfully acknowledge their viewpoint but can still disagree. eg. “Mrs Smith. I hear what you’re saying, however that’s not my experience of the situation.”

    If they are not showing any sign of calming down, you can politely suggest that you discuss the issue again at another time. "Mrs. Smith, I’m uncomfortable with the way you’re shouting. I’d prefer to continue discussing this at another time. Is Tuesday suitable?”

    Generally, however, stridently defending yourself or justifying your actions in this situation will only inflame the other person further.

    Other Sources of Assistance

    • Western Australian Dispute Resolution Service - PH: 9321 3755 E: www.wadra.law.ec.ed.au
    • Citizens Advice Bureau, Head Office - 25 Barrack Street, Perth PH: 9221 5711 Midland Office: PH: 9274 3000
    • Conflict Resolution Network - W: www.crnhq.org.
    © City of Kalamunda 2019