The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 (the Act) has now come into effect as of 1 July 2017. The Act was developed to support and enhance local amenity values by making specified matters such as noise and odour a local nuisance.
This is new legislation to Council and to the community; therefore in the first instance a person should try and discuss concerns with the people (e.g. neighbours) from where the nuisance is emanating from, as they may not be aware that they are causing a nuisance. Concerns should be raised and discussed, and suggestions provided to resolve problems - simple solutions can often be found that satisfy everyone.
Generally, Council will become involved if an issue within the community (e.g. between neighbours) cannot be resolved. Council will then try to work with the person causing the alleged nuisance to try and resolve the matter.
Local nuisance is described in the Act as being any adverse impact on the amenity value of an area, which unreasonably interferes with, or is likely to unreasonably interfere with, the enjoyment of that area by people in that area.
Some examples of activities that may be considered a local nuisance include:
Local nuisance within the community can also be caused by:
The Act specifies what can constitute a local nuisance and anything outside of this, Council can’t deal with, here are a few examples:
A person’s activities should not unreasonably interfere with the well-being or enjoyment of an area by others. This includes not only the indoor and outdoor spaces of a person’s own property but public and community areas such as parks, other places of public recreation, and commercial precincts.
The community should all be mindful of the degree of potential local nuisance that can be generated by things such as unwarranted smoke, excessive noise, nuisance dust or unkempt properties and always seek to minimise such impacts as much as possible. Discussing any concerns with your neighbour/person causing the alleged nuisance may be all that is needed, but if further advice is required or you wish to lodge a complaint Council can be contacted on 8405 6600.
Council can grant an exemption from local nuisance-causing activities upon application. Exemptions may be reasonable for short-term activities - such as festivals, events or major construction activities - where some level of noise, dust, odour or other local nuisance is likely to be unavoidable.
Applications must, however, be accompanied by a nuisance management plan describing the steps that will be taken to prevent, minimise or address any adverse effects on the amenity value of the area concerned and also describing the exceptional circumstances that exist to justify the granting of an exemption.