Residential Noise

Permitted noise levels

Noise is unwanted sound that can cause a disturbance.

The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 impose permitted noise levels. It is an offence to create excessive noise emissions that occur at a frequency, time of day or duration that unreasonably affects the health and amenity of surrounding residents. 

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, enforcement action such as fines, notices and seizures of equipment may be undertaken. WA Police and Environmental Health Officers have the power to issue fines, notices or seize property in response to noise complaints under these laws.

Air conditioners

Residential air conditioners can contribute to an increasing level of environmental noise in our communities. 

When purchasing an air conditioner, it is best to ensure:

  • You purchase the quietest air conditioner that you can
  • You have discussed with your air conditioner installer the potential noise impacts to surrounding properties before the air conditioner is installed
  • The quietest possible air conditioner has been selected considering how the noise might also affect neighbouring properties
  • You consider the location of an air conditioner and how it might affect surrounding properties before installing it
  • The external components of the air conditioner are positioned as far away from the closest neighbour as possible.

Playing musical instruments

Practising musical instruments for a long time, or at inappropriate times, can cause a disturbance. 

Please ensure your musical instrument is:

  • Played for no more than 1 hour per day (intended to be in a 1 hour block, rather than short bursts throughout the day totalling 1 hour)
  • Played between the hours of 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am and 7pm Sundays and public holidays
  • Played inside with all windows and doors closed
  • Band practice is conducted in a musical studio. 

Security alarms

Alarms are important security devices but can cause excess noise if accidentally triggered. 

Please ensure:

  • You can operate your alarm system correctly
  • The alarm has been installed by a Licensed Security Agent
  • The alarm has auxiliary power backup
  • The alarm is in a location that minimises the possibility of damage or interference
  • The length of the siren is limited to a maximum of 10 minutes
  • Windows/doors are properly closed and pets are outside before activating the alarm 
  • Trees, shrubs and branches are well away from windows/doors.

WA Police have the power to silence audible alarms where they are satisfied that the alarm has been causing unreasonable noise for at least 30 minutes.

Stereo noise and parties

Planning a party

If you are planning a party, please follow these guidelines to maintain good relations with your neighbours:

  • Let your neighbours know in advance that you are having a party and provide them with your number to call if they find the noise too loud
  • Turn the music down at 10pm and off at midnight
  • Monitor the noise at the boundary during the party and try limit amplified music to inside 
  • Ask everyone to move inside the house after midnight
  • Leave the clean up until the morning so the sound doesn’t disturb neighbours
  • Ask your guests to leave quietly and say your goodbyes inside.

Everyday stereo use

For everyday stereo use:

  • The volume should be turned down at 7pm
  • The stereo must be either off or to a level that cannot be heard at the property boundary at 10pm
  • The bass component of your stereo should be reduced.

Using gardening and power tools

Many types of equipment used on residential properties can create excessive noise. These include lawnmowers, power tools, blower vacuums and hammers. 

Please limit equipment use to:

  • Up to two hours per day (intended as a two-hour block, rather than short bursts throughout the day totalling two hours)
  • Between the hours of 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am and 7pm Sundays and public holidays.

Noise complaints

Having problems with ongoing noise in your neighbourhood?

In the first instance, we recommend you:

  • Approach your neighbour to politely and respectfully explain how the noise is affecting you
  • Try to come to a ‘win-win’ resolution – for instance your neighbour may be able to continue the activity, perhaps for a shorter duration or at a time more convenient to you. 

If you would like one of the City’s Environmental Health Officers to investigate noise in your neighbourhood, please submit a Public Health Complaint Form.

You may be asked to complete a record of events, noting the date, time and duration of the noise emissions over at least a fortnight (see form below). The City’s Environmental Health Officers may need to obtain sound level measurements from your property as part of the investigation.

Related Documents

Document name Downloadable files
Health Services Record of Nuisance Events FormPDF document

Drones and model aircraft noise

If you have a complaint surrounding the use of drones in your area or on Council Land, you can report it to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

More information and contact

Please contact Health Services about residential noise on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected].



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Language Support

Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.