Barking dogs among updated NSW noise guidelines

Barking dog_NSW noise guidelines

Key points:

Complaints about barking dogs and crowing roosters are among the updates being proposed to NSW noise guidelines.

On 2 August 2021, the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) unveiled updates to the Noise Guide for Local Government.

Among the changes are:

  • updated fact sheets about common noise sources.
  • summaries of which is the right regulatory body to deal with complaints.
  • updated examples of common neighbourhood noise complaints.

The amended Guide will affect how local councils deal with noise complaints from residents and others.

What are the NSW noise guidelines for?

According to the EPA, the NSW noise guidelines “provide practical guidance to council officers on the day-to-day management of common neighbourhood noise problems and in the interpretation of existing policy and legislation”.

“The Guide assists council officers in managing neighbour-to-neighbour problems and those noise issues resulting from commercial or industrial premises,” said Sonya Errington, the EPA’s Director Environmental Solutions.

Such complaints include construction, power tools, music, vehicles, and home appliances such as security alarms, air conditioners and pool pumps.

However, the NSW noise guidelines include a section devoted to “barking dogs and other animals”, such as crowing roosters. This covers complaints between neighbours and those about commercial operations such as dog kennels and animal shelters.

“[It] also assists planners by including planning considerations that can prevent future noise problems, such as land-use planning to avoid or minimise noise from land-use conflict”, said Ms Errington.

“Noise-generating activities and noise-sensitive areas should be separated where practicable. For example, situating commercial buildings, recreation space or similar between incompatible land uses provides a physical barrier and/or spatial separation.”

Have your say

The EPA is seeking feedback on the proposed amendments from council officers as well as members of the community.

Consultation closes at 5:00pm on Monday, 27 September 2021.

Feedback on the updated NSW noise guidelines can be provided via the EPA’s website. Anyone with questions can contact the EPA at

Once finalised, the updates will replace the existing Guide, which was first published in 2013.

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