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Do you have a noisy neighbour? You know the one – that person that can’t wait to break out the leaf blower first thing on a Sunday morning. Or perhaps YOU are that noisy neighbour the entire street complains about.

We all want to take great care of our lawns but if we live close to others it’s our duty to ensure that we aren’t interfering with their quality of life and that we aren’t breaking local council noise restrictions.

And it’s worth understanding exactly what those restrictions are. Under Queensland’s Environmental Protection Act 1994, which local councils are legally required to enforce, can result in an on the spot fine for non-compliance of $1100 for an individual and $2200 for a corporation – ouch!

Undertaking lawn maintenance falls under the category of ‘Tools and Maintenance Noise’ and involves the use of grass cutters such as lawn mowers and edge cutters as well as leaf blowers and mulchers. Under noise restrictions, no clearly audible noise is allowed between 7pm and 7am Monday to Saturday and 7pm to 8am on Sundays and Public Holidays.

How to reduce your noise and the annoyance of your neighbours:

  1. Talk to your neighbours and ask them if there are specific times when your lawn care noise may disturb them. If you live next door to the Mum of a new bub we’re sure she’d appreciate your concern and will probably be more than happy to fill you in on bub’s nap times.
  2. Select equipment with noise levels in mind.
  3. Consider alternatives – sweep instead of using a leaf blower, compost instead of mulching, and us electric powered devices over petrol engines when possible.
  4. Think about your location. Is it possible to use the mulcher on the other side of the house, away from your closest neighbours or on the side where your neighbours are away for the weekend.
  5. Regular maintenance will decrease the noise as well as improving the effectiveness of your equipment – the noise won’t be as loud and you may not have to use them for as long each time.
  6. Consider modifications to engine-powered equipment but also seek advice from the manufacturer or professional.
  7. Build a fence or barrier since a solid fence with no gaps will help to reduce noise levels.

Before you make lots of noise and before you head off to the council to make a complaint – ensure you know what is acceptable and allowable in your local council area and if you have a concern – pop over and have a chat with your neighbour – perhaps they don’t even realise they are upsetting you.

Check your local council website for more information and the complaints handling process.

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