Disclaimer: This page is a historical record which was current in August 2015. Since then there have been significant changes to the avenues for objection regarding noise; so you should not rely solely on this page but make your own further enquiries.
The jurisdiction over noise complaints is divided amongst different Council/State Government bodies depending on the source of the noise. Here is a shortlist of useful contact numbers:
City of Sydney Council: 9265 9333 or email email@example.com
City of Sydney Rangers: 1300 651 301 or 9265 9561
- noise in public places; loud music and parties; air-conditioners; building and road construction; barking dogs; building and car alarms
Kings Cross Police: 8356.0099
- noisy motor vehicles; animal noise; building or car alarms; music and crowd noise from restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and other licensed premises; loud parties and music from neighbours
Kings Cross Police Licensing Unit: 8356.0004
- activity after trading hours, excessive patron numbers
NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing: 9995 0300
- music and crowd noise from restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and other licensed premises
Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC): 131 555
- noisy major public infrastructure; concerts in public spaces; rail noise, industrial/commercial noise; noisy car exhaust
General complaints to the City of Sydney
To make an official complaint to the City of Sydney (e.g. about noise or other impacts), you must phone the City of Sydney general number on 02 9265 9333 or personally visit the Kings Cross Neighbourhood Centre on Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross.
You must ask for an incident number for each official complaint you make – this is the only way you can be sure your matter will be recorded by Council.
Complaints about licensed premises
Complaints about the operation of licensed premises may relate to the premises complying with their Development Consent (City of Sydney) or their liquor license (NSW Office of Gaming, Liquor and Racing).
To make a complaint to the (NSW Government) Office of Gaming, Liquor and Racing about a licensed premises, you should follow the procedures given in this leaflet.
Advice, tips and tricks about making noise complaints
(The following information has been provided by an experienced local resident)
On 13 October 2009 Lord Mayor Clover Moore, responding to numerous complaints from residents about continuing noise from licensed premises, clubs, venues and buskers in the Kings Cross/Potts Point precinct, wrote to residents advising them:
- “Please report noise from licensed premises to Kings Cross Police to enable a strategic response to these concerns, telephone 8356.0099 and ask for the Licensing Unit or Duty Officer…. Buskers should have a council permit and not make excessive noise or operate after 10pm (M-Th, Su) or midnight (Fr/Sat). If buskers are continuing to play music late at night please call Kings Cross Police for action, telephone 8356.0099”
In July 2010, the then Superintendent of Kings Cross Local Area Command, Supt. Tony Crandell, also wrote to residents:
- “Police are aware that… incidents of anti social behaviour and violence impact on the good order of our neighbourhood and in order to address these issues … we are inviting residents of your neighbourhood to contact Kings Cross Licensing Unit and provide details of any incidents witnessed or concerns you have regarding alcohol related anti social behaviour or concerns you may have in relation to Licensed Premises in your neighbourhood”.
So – Council wants you to call the Police, and the Police are asking you to call them. The Police are your best ally!
If you are woken, kept awake or disturbed at any time by excessive amplified noise or anti-social behaviour coming from clubs and venues, or by unreasonable noise from amplified buskers, you should immediately call Kings Cross Police on 8356.0099. They will respond to your call as quickly as possible, but please be patient as they may have to first deal with more urgent matters as a priority. It’s also important that complaints are made to the Police as it helps them build data about premises that continue to be ‘repeat offenders’.
Police appreciate residents being proactive, but if on a rare occasion you encounter reluctance from their switchboard (“It’s Kings Cross mate, what do you expect?“) you can gently point out to them that you’ve down your homework and that the venue is actually in violation of its license conditions or that the busker is breaching rules about ‘excessively loud performances‘ The Council’s own regulation states:
- “After midnight noise from the licensed venues can not exceed background noise and must be inaudible between the hours 12 midnight and 07:00 am within habitable room of any residential premises.”