Quieter Brisbane leads to fewer noise complaints during pandemic
Jul 14, 2020
By Lucy Stone
Brisbane has been a significantly quieter city in recent months, with residents lodging far fewer noise complaints in the past six months than the previous year.
Since January, total noise complaints have not tipped 600 each month - or about 19 a day - the lowest being April, when only 590 noise complaints were lodged with Brisbane City Council.
In contrast, more than 1000 complaints were lodged with the council in April last year. In June this year, 558 noise complaints were made, compared with 911 in June last year.
The council manages noise complaints lodged against barking dogs and other animals, construction work outside of set hours, refrigeration equipment and airconditioners, water pumps and powerboats.
Complaints about loud parties, music, security alarms, off-road vehicles and premises with liquor licences are managed by Queensland Police.
A council spokeswoman said the coronavirus-related restrictions "would have played a significant role" in the drop in complaints.
"Due to the restrictions, many job sites were temporarily stood down or reduced operational capacity, venues and events were closed, many commercial businesses were closed, and pumps and regulated devices may have been used within lawful hours (mowing lawn, using power tools) rather than after hours," she said.
But complaints about builders working during normal hours appear higher than last year, with 79 complaints lodged in the first six months of 2020, compared with a total of 85 complaints across the entirety of 2019.
Building noise may only be heard during the hours of 6.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, and not on public holidays or Sundays.
The council spokeswoman said the council had also seen a reduction in complaints about barking dogs.
"Council has traditionally received a high number of complaints about barking dogs, but this number has significantly reduced since the introduction of self-help options for dog owners to assist neighbours with resolving animal noise issues without council intervention," she said.
People who wish to make a complaint about a noisy dog are first encouraged to use fact sheets provided by the council to address the issue with their neighbours, or keep a week-long "animal noise diary" they can then provide to the council.
In 2019, council received 7788 animal noise complaints, while in the six months to July 8 this year, only 2304 were received.
In total, the council received 10,402 complaints about noise issues in 2019 and in the first six months of this year, just 3533.
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