Originally published on www.ncl.net.au

Dealing with Neighbourhood Noise

Neighbourhood noise can be very annoying. You can often stop noise that disturbs you without involving the Nhulunbuy Corporation, the police or the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA).

When noise annoys

How we respond to particular noises depends on the type of noise and how we feel about it. What is fine one day can drive us to distraction the next, and noise that is acceptable to one person may be unacceptable to another.

Recognising how our moods can influence our response helps us judge when others are being too noisy.

If a source of noise is a problem for you there are several things you can do.

Talk to people

Try to solve the problem amicably by talking to whoever is causing the noise. Often people do not realise they are being noisy and are happy to work with you to solve the problem as alternatives are often available.

Contact a Community Justice Centre

If the noise continues, you can contact a Community Justice Centre (CJC). These are government-funded but independent centres that specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering into complicated legal processes. A CJC may suggest a mediation process. This is where you meet with the people who are making the noise, together with a CJC representative to try and solve the problem. This process will not cost you any money, and has a high success rate.

For information on the nearest CJC, visit www.cjc.nt.gov.au.

How to prevent neighbourhood noise problems

What is music to your ears may just be noise to your neighbour. Try to make sure that your activities at home do not become a nuisance to others by showing them some consideration. Here are some things you can do to keep the peace in your neighbourhood:

  • Restrict noisy activities to:
    • between the hours of 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and
    • between the hours of 9am and 6pm Sunday and Public Holidays
  • Restrict noisy musical instruments and electrically amplified sound equipment (eg. radios, TVs, tape recorders, CD and DVD players and home theatre systems) to:
    • between the hours of 8am and midnight on Friday, Saturday or any day preceding a public holiday, and
    • between the hours of 8am and 10pm on any other day.
  • Let your neighbours know in advance if you are going to be doing something noisy. Most people appreciate the courtesy and will be less likely to complain. They can also get away from the noise if they really need to.
  • Be mindful of your neighbours when playing amplified music or using power tools etc, even within the recommended times.
  • Keep the noise in your backyard or on your balcony down so it won’t disturb your neighbours, especially during the evening and at night.
  • Avoid revving your car’s engine repeatedly when you turn on your car’s ignition. Also, remember to turn the car stereo down when coming home late at night and try not to slam doors.
  • Choose quiet models when buying equipment such as air conditioners, pool pumps or when purchasing or hiring garden equipment such as leaf blowers and lawn mowers
  • When installing air conditioners and pool filters think about the impact on your neighbours and place them away from your neighbour’s bedroom and living room windows or have the equipment acoustically shielded to ensure neighbours are not affected.
  • Use noisy equipment within the recommended times and for short periods, avoid revving it repeatedly.

Common types of neighbourhood noise

Neighbourhood noise may arise from a variety of sources. These sources may be managed by different NT Government departments, the Nhulunbuy Corporation or other agencies. The following table provides a summary of common neighbourhood noise sources and who to contact.

Noise Source Responsible Agency Contact
Barking dogs Nhulunbuy Corporation (08) 8939 2200
Noisy vehicles Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment Motor Vehicle Registry 1800 652 628
Noisy alarms Northern Territory Police 131 444
Noise from pubs and clubs Northern Territory Licensing Commission 1800 193 111
Construction noise Nhulunbuy Corporation (08) 8939 2200
Road and water infrastructure works Nhulunbuy Corporation (08) 8939 2200
High Voltage Power Works Rio Tinto 1800 996 508
Noisy domestic equipment Northern Territory Police 131 444


Noise complaints

Those who feel they have cause for lodging noise complaint are advised to determine the appropriate administering agency as listed above and contact them directly. Where a source and agency is not identified your complaint should be addressed to the Nhulunbuy Corporation.

Please keep a log of all events including time and duration of noise and steps taken to resolve the issue. Submit your complaint in writing to:

Nhulunbuy Corporation
PO Box 345 NHULUNBUY NT 0881

Via email to: office@ncl.net.au

Or in person at the Nhulunbuy Corporation Head Office in Westal Street during business hours.