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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Responding to a prevention notice

If your neighbour made a complaint to the local council about noise coming from you or your property, you may have been issued with a prevention notice by the council.

    What is a prevention notice?

    A prevention notice is used to control actions that are done in an environmentally unsatisfactory manner. This can include noise but also other actions.

    A prevention notice tells you what action you need to take to stop, prevent or minimise noise coming from you or your property. For example, the notice may require you to provide noise insulation around the equipment that is creating the noise. 

    In some cases, your local council may ask you to consider ways to stop or reduce the noise and submit an action plan to the council. The notice will then specify when these things should be done.

    Sample: Sample prevention notice

    Administrative fee and compliance costs

    If you are served with (given) a prevention notice, you may have to pay an administrative fee and compliance costs.

    Administrative fee

    Your local council may ask you to pay an administrative fee to cover the costs of preparing and serving the notice. You must pay the fee within 30 days of receiving the notice. If you don't pay the administrative fee, you may be charged with an offence or given a penalty notice (fine).

    If you are unable to pay the administrative fee, you can apply to have the fee waived (cancelled) or ask for more time to pay. For more information, contact your local council.

    Compliance costs

    Your local council may give you a separate compliance costs notice to cover their costs of monitoring your compliance with the notice, for example, this may include the cost of doing site inspections to investigate any further complaints.

    If you don't pay costs, the council may take you to court to try and recover the money. If this happens, you should get legal advice.

    What if you don't agree?

    If you don't agree with the prevention notice, you can file an appeal at the Land and Environment Court within 21 days of being served (given) with the notice.

    If you want to appeal the notice, you should get legal advice.

    The filing of an appeal will not stop the commencement of the notice.

    What if you continue to make the noise?

    Once a prevention notice is served on you, it applies immediately unless the notice specifies a later date. There is no end date to a prevention notice.

    If you continue to make the type of noise the notice requires you not to, you will be breaching the notice.

    You may be given a penalty notice (fine) or charged with an offence each time you breach the notice.

    If you are charged with an offence or elect to challenge your fine in court, you could face a maximum penalty for each day the noise continues.

    If you are considering electing to take your fine to court, you should get legal advice.