Preventing noise nuisance on licensed premises

Responsible Management of Licensed VenuesFor licensees and approved managers, the simplest method to determine if the noise is too loud is to walk to the property line of the closest residence to the venue whilst entertainment is being conducted.

  • Can you make out the words to the song?
  • Can you hear the bass?

If the answer is yes to either question, then the entertainment is definitely too loud.

Prevention — helpful hints

Consider the following issues to prevent noise nuisance from becoming a neighbourhood problem:


  • Are the doors and windows closed during entertainment?

  • Are the speakers facing away from neighbours?

  • Can another area of the venue away from neighbours be used?

  • Is there a sound lock on the entry door to the entertainment area?

  • Is the type of entertainment suitable to the building structure?

  • Has the licensee gone outside and listened? (If the words of the song or bass can be heard it is too loud)

  • Has a sound limiting device been considered?

  • Are staff members aware of the licence conditions? Is the DJ/band aware of the limits?

  • Have the benefits of double glazing and/or air-conditioning been investigated?

  • Consider engaging an acoustics expert for advice (a list of acoustic engineers familiar with liquor licensing noise requirements can be obtained from OLGR)


  • Are all motors adequately serviced and maintained?

  • Is it necessary to run motors all night (e.g. refrigerators)?

  • Can motors be baffled, a sound hood installed or repositioned away from neighbours?


  • Are signs in place requesting patrons to be mindful of the neighbourhood?

  • Is there adequate security and lighting in areas such as car parks?

  • Can multiple car park exits be blocked leaving one late night exit point for patrons away from neighbours?

  • Can you reposition the cab rank away from your neighbours?

Other noise

  • Can staff dispose of empty bottles to the rubbish bins later in the morning?

  • Can industrial bins emptied at a different time?

  • Is patron talking noise from toilets creating a problem?

  • Are there exterior doors which bang closed from patrons, staff etc. For example, kitchen doors used by staff to access store rooms or when going on breaks.

  • Can the cleaning and maintenance staff start at different times or enter through other doors?

The ultimate responsibility for minimising noise rests with the licensee, and action will be taken if the nuisance continues.