Guideline 66: Temporary removal of noise conditions

Liquor Act 1992 - Section 111(1) and (2)
Liquor Regulation 2002 - Regulation 40

This guideline provides advice about the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming's attitude regarding temporarily removing noise-related conditions in limited or exceptional circumstances.

Noise limits and licence conditions

The Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming may impose licence conditions based on the sound retention qualities of a premises when granting an application for, or a variation to, a liquor licence for that premises.

Regulation 40 of the Liquor Regulation prescribes noise limits, which if exceeded, constitute 'unreasonable noise'. Licensees seeking to provide entertainment must engage a qualified acoustic engineer to prepare a report for the Commissioner in relation to the sound retention qualities of their licensed premises.

Under section 111(2) of the Liquor Act, appropriate noise limits and conditions are then imposed on the licence based on the acoustic report. These noise limits and the associated conditions allow entertainment to be provided, while at the same time ensuring that neighbouring residents are not unduly disturbed.

Assessing the potential for unreasonable noise

When considering the main purposes of the Liquor Act, specifically to provide a flexible, practical system for regulating the liquor industry, it is appropriate to temporarily remove a noise-related licence condition (or conditions), for a limited period of time.

When assessing an application to temporarily remove a noise condition (or conditions), the Commissioner will balance the interests of licensees and permit holders with those of the overall community, while also considering whether the:

  • application is for a significant occasion; an event that
    • requires an event management plan to be submitted as part of the application
    • is deemed a high-risk event in accordance with Commissioner Guidelines 32 and 33.
  • event is
    • one that historically has not resulted in noise related issues
    • one that does not have a 'track record' but is assessed as unlikely to result in noise issue
    • of local, state or national significance
    • a one-off or infrequent event eg. annual music festival, periodic entertainment event
    • supported by a government agency (for example, a local authority).
  • temporary removal of the noise condition (or conditions) is for limited hours
  • time of day/night for the temporary removal of the conditions is appropriate.

The Commissioner may also take into account the:

  • licensee's compliance history
  • proximity of the venue to residents and other identified sensitive facilities
  • extent to which the amenity of the locality may be adversely impacted.

Applying for relaxation of noise conditions at a licensed event

To apply to the Commissioner under section 111(1) of the Liquor Act for a temporary removal of noise related conditions, a licensee's application must:

  • be in writing
  • be accompanied by the prescribed application fee
  • include details of the special public event and any other exceptional circumstances for which they seek the temporary removal of the relevant noise condition or conditions.

The Commissioner may grant the application if satisfied that the event is a significant occasion and that exceptional or limited circumstances exist to justify the temporary removal of the condition (or conditions).

Issued 9 November 2018