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Info Note – January 2003                                               ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

                                           Stereo Noise

Loud stereo music accounts for a significant number of noise
complaints and inquiries received by the City of Nedlands.

While most problems can simply be resolved by reducing the overall volume setting, it is
often the bass component of individual tracks which causes irritation. This low
frequency noise is very intrusive and cannot be effectively controlled just by closing
windows and doors.

As a rough guide, music which is audible at your boundary between your neighbour’s
property could be excessive.

The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 stipulate the allowable levels for
all times of day. The Regulations also require the noise levels (when measured) from
certain sources to be adjusted according to the type of noise (characteristics) and
relates to how annoying the noise is perceived to be.

For example, all music receives a 10dB(A) penalty (ie. 10dB(A) is added to the
measured noise reading) and music which has impulsiveness present (such as dance
music) receives a 15dB(A) penalty (ie. an additional 5dB(A)).

With these adjustments (penalties) of noise levels placed on music noise, it is actually
quite difficult to adhere to the allowable levels in quiet residential areas, especially at
night. Thus your neighbour’s potential complaint could be valid.

Please note that severe penalties can apply to ongoing noise complaints, such as seizure
of equipment and fines in excess of $1000.

Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the noise levels escaping from your

For more information, please contact the City’s Health Services on 9273 3500.

              Published by the City of Nedlands, 71 Stirling Highway, Nedlands WA 6009
                This information sheet is available free on request from Council Office.
                    Telephone: (08) 9273 3500            Facsimile: (08) 9386 3670