Compliance with acceptable noise levels

If an OLGR investigator believes by definition that noise from a licensed premises is unreasonable, the investigator may issue a written notice (an abatement notice) to the licensee, permit holder, or person in charge of the premises, requiring that noise be reduced to, and kept at, a reasonable level, so that it is no longer an unreasonable noise.

Noise can be determined to be unreasonable due to the level of noise (when measured at affected residences or businesses in the locality), or because the licensee has failed to comply with any noise conditions imposed on the licence.

Abatement notice for nuisance or dangerous activity

An abatement notice may be issued by an investigator (to the licensee, permit holder, or a person who appears to be in charge of the premises) if unreasonable noise is produced at a licensed premises.

The notice may:

  • require the person to reduce the noise to a level that is no longer unreasonable
  • state specific action/s that must be taken by the person and must provide a time frame for the completion of this action (up to 3 months)
  • remain in effect for a period of up to 3 months, unless extended by further written notice by the Commissioner.

The issuing of an abatement notice does not stop any other action being taken under the Liquor Act 1992 in relation to the matter that is subject.

Failing to comply with an abatement notice can lead to enforcement action including one or more of the following:

  • on-the-spot fine of up to $2,669
  • prosecution, which carries a maximum fine of $13,345
  • the issue of a compliance order and/or variation of licence or permit conditions
  • disciplinary action (from fines to cancellation of the licence or permit).

Compliance orders for unreasonable noise

A compliance order issued by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming may require the licensee, permit holder, freehold owner or interested party to stop or prevent unreasonable noise coming from a licensed venue that has been subject to an abatement order within the preceding 12 months.

The order may:

  • remain in effect for up to 6 months, unless the Commissioner provides a further notice extending its effect
  • require a person to stop all specified noise coming from the premises until the person demonstrates to the Commissioner that the noise can be permanently limited to reasonable noise.

Note: The premises includes any area containing plant and equipment that is not part of the premises but is used for the benefit of the premises.

The issuing of an order does not stop any other action being taken under the Act in relation to the matter, such as the issuing of a further abatement notice, or varying a licence or permit, taking disciplinary action or starting proceedings for an offence against this Act.

It is an offence to not comply with an order. The maximum penalty is 100 penalty units ($13,345).

If you are issued an order under this section and fail to comply, the Commissioner may start proceedings in a Magistrates Court in relation to the failure without further notice being provided to the person.

OLGR is happy to provide any assistance and advice to assist licensees in minimising noise emanating from licensed premises and resolving noise complaints. However, the ultimate responsibility for minimising noise from licensed premises rests with the licensee and their staff and management.

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