Noise can be a problem, particularly in urban areas. It should not create a nuisance for other people. Noise from residential properties that unreasonably interferes with a person’s enjoyment of the environment through its volume, intensity, and/or duration can result in penalties being imposed.

If you intend on creating noise, you should make sure that you do not breach the requirements of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 and the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.

Whilst the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 includes permitted hours of use for various equipment that typically produces noise, a noise nuisance can still technically be created depending on the circumstances, volume, duration, and intensity of the activity creating the noise. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of noise you intend to generate and the potential impact it can have on your neighbours and the greater community.

If you are being disturbed by noise, usually the best approach is to ask the person creating the noise to reduce it to a reasonable or agreed level or limit it to certain times of the day. This friendly approach is always recommended as the person may not be aware that it is causing a problem for you. If this approach does not work, the next step you should take depends on the circumstances. You can consider contacting council and lodging a complaint, council officers will then consider the details of the issue and consider investigating further. For noise issues occurring outside of council hours, Tasmania Police can also be contacted.

Please be aware that council does not become involved with neighbourly disputes. Council may only become involved when it is demonstrated that an environmental nuisance is occurring.

Prohibited hours and restrictions of operation

In accordance with the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016.

Musical instruments and sound amplifying equipment

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  • Monday to Thursday: Before 7.00am and after 10.00pm
  • Friday: Before 7.00am and after midnight
  • Saturday: Before 9.00am and after midnight
  • Sunday and all statutory public holidays: Before 10.00am and after 10.00pm

The use of any equipment must be lawful so that an environmental nuisance, as defined by Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, is not caused. If this activity is determined to be excessive, the noise and/or level will be required to be reduced or ceased.

Mobile machinery, forklift truck or portable equipment such as power tools, cement mixers etc.

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  • Monday to Friday: Before 7.00am and after 6.00pm
  • Saturday: Before 8.00am and after 6.00pm
  • Sunday and all statutory public holidays: Before 10.00am and after 6.00pm

Lawn mowers

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  • Monday to Friday: Before 7.00am and after 8.00pm
  • Saturday: Before 9.00am and after 8.00pm
  • Sunday and all statutory public holidays: Before 10.00am and after 8.00pm

Chainsaw with an internal combustion engine i.e. petrol driven chainsaws

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Must not be powered by an internal combustion engine within 300 metres of other residential premises unless the chainsaw is operated for the purpose of domestic garden maintenance on only one day in any seven consecutive days and at a time outside the following prohibited hours of use:

  • Monday to Friday: Before 7.00am and after 6.00pm
  • Saturday: Before 9.00am and after 6.00pm
  • Sunday and all statutory public holidays: Before 10.00am and after 6.00pm


The operation of a chainsaw is approved under an approved instrument; and the noise emitted by the chainsaw is not otherwise unlawful. See Regulation 3 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 for the definition of “approved instrument”.

Recreational vehicles

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Recreational vehicles (e.g. trail bikes, quad bikes etc.) must not be operated within 500m of residential property. It is illegal to use recreation vehicles in reserves as they can cause safety issues for walkers and horse riders. They also cause erosion and damage to native flora.

Recreational dirt bike facilities (motocross tracks) and clubs provide safe, legal places for riders. It is your responsibility to know who manages the land you are riding on and to make sure you are riding legally. For more information on local groups and information please contact:

To report illegal bike use the following contacts:

  • Submit a crime report to Crime Stoppers Tasmania: 1800 333 000
  • For after-hours assistance please contact Tasmania Police: 13 14 44
  • To report nuisance trail bike riding on private land, contact council or 03 6217 9500 or report an issue at

Council also coordinates a Trail Bike Working group with the aim to reduce the incidences of illegal and unsafe trail bike and powered pedal bike riding in Clarence. The group focusses on:

  • Educating riders and the community about what is safe and legal.
  • Diverting riders to legal riding opportunities.
  • Supporting the community to report illegal activity to enhance enforcement.
  • Identifying hotspot areas that can be managed to reduce access.

Fixed equipment (heat pumps/air-conditioners, hot water systems, evaporative coolers, pumps, generators, wind turbines, etc.)

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Noise levels from fixed equipment are controlled under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016.

Much of this equipment is designed and built to Australian Standards to minimise noisy designs entering the market. Before installing any fixed equipment the effects of noise from it on your property, as well as neighbouring properties, should be considered. The noise from the installation of fixed equipment must not infringe on your neighbour’s right to enjoy their environment. You may be required to move the unit if a noise nuisance is created. Talk to your neighbours before you have fixed equipment installed to help ensure that there will not be any impact on their living areas.

Noise problems usually occur when the effects of noise emission from the outdoor parts of fixed equipment are not carefully considered when selecting its location, such as facing it directly at a neighbour’s window.

The following should be carefully considered when selecting the location for the outdoor unit of fixed equipment:

  1. Noise travels in straight lines and can be reflected by walls, brick fences and other hard surfaces;
  2. Consider the surrounding environment’s background noise levels and chose a unit to suit. The lower the dB(A) level the better;
  3. Locate the unit as far away from your bedrooms and the neighbour’s bedrooms as possible;
  4. Never face the condenser fan discharge or any vent directly towards the window of a neighbour’s residence, particularly those of habitable rooms or outdoor living areas. The unit should face the boundary fence of the property furthest away from the adjoining residences; Fences and walls between your property and the neighbours may help to reduce noise transmission. Remember that while a brick fence may prevent noise travelling to the neighbour on the other side it will also reflect the noise;
  5. Try to avoid mounting the outdoor parts of fixed equipment on the house wall and above ground level, as this can result in the transmission of noise to neighbouring properties. The outdoor parts of fixed equipment should be mounted at ground level on a solid base, preferably concrete and on a rubber pad to help minimise vibration; and
  6. Where pipes or lines pass through walls there must be adequate clearance and insulation, this will help prevent vibration within walls, as this has the potential to magnify noise.

We suggest using a fixed equipment installation contractor for the installation to help prevent noise problems before they occur.

After installation it is important that fixed equipment is routinely serviced to ensure that noise nuisance from rattles, vibrations and worn parts is not created over time.

Heat pumps and air conditioners
Environment Protection Authority Tasmania has a set of guidelines and handy facts that covers heat pumps and air conditioners. This guide is particularly for residential premises and can be found here.