Under Noosa Council Local Law 2 (Animal Management), owners are responsible for ensuring their animals don’t cause a nuisance by making excessive noise that unreasonably disrupts or inhibits any normal activity ordinarily carried out in nearby properties.
A nuisance may occur if (in the opinion of an Authorised Officer) there is sufficient evidence to support the observation that others are being significantly affected by the activity of the offending animal.
Examples of a noise nuisance include noise that unreasonably disrupts a person from:
- Holding a conversation
- Watching television
Step 1 – Contacting your neighbor
First, try talking to your neighbour about the issue. Making contact in person is a good start to a good resolution. If you are not comfortable approaching your neighbour, there is a letter attached below which you can use as a guide for contacting your neighbour in writing.
Try making an opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbour and their pets. Ultimately the most positive outcomes in these types of issues come about through respectful and constructive communication between the affected parties.
Step 2 – Formal Complaint
If you wish to lodge a formal complaint, it is essential that this complaint is lodged in writing using the Dog Noise Nuisance Statement Form (below). Please complete all fields with as much detail as possible and return a copy to Council.
Upon receipt, a council officer will assess the information and make contact with both the customer and the dog owner. The Officer will assess the underlying cause of the animal behaviour, whilst ensuring that the dog owner is reminded of their obligations under law to ensure their animal does not cause a noise nuisance. It is important that the dog owner is given a reasonable amount of time to address any identified issues. Council has a solutions focused approach to these types of matters and in most cases positive outcomes are achieved from this intervention. If however the issue remains unresolved after 14 days, the complaint will proceed to Step 3.
Should you choose to lodge a complaint anonymously, please note that whilst the complaint will be recorded, your complaint may not be able to be actioned depending upon the level of information provided.
Step 3 - Council Investigation
If steps 1 and 2 do not achieve the desired outcome, you will be required to assist Council by gathering sufficient evidence of a suitable quality. The evidence will then be assessed for suitability by Council’s Authorised Officer’s prior to any further action being taken.
Step 4 – Action by Council
If sufficient evidence has been provided to prove an offence is being committed by the animal owner, potential action may include:
- issue of an Action Notice; and/or
- issue of Penalty Infringement Notice (fine); and/or
- Issue a Compliance Notice pursuant to Noosa Council’s Local Laws
- Prosecute the owner of the dog in Noosa Magistrates Court.
Please note that in respect of prosecuting the owner of the subject dog, this action is not usually undertaken and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In respect of prosecuting offenders, Council may decide not to spend public money on court action if it is not in the community’s best interests.
Step 5 – Dispute Resolution
If steps 1 through 4 do not achieve the desired outcome, you may undertake mediation facilitated by the Queensland Government Brisbane Dispute Resolution Centre.
Mediation involves you attending a face-to-face meeting with your neighbour and one (1) or two (2) mediators. The mediators act as an impartial third party to guide you through a structured mediation process. They help you decide what you want to achieve and keep the discussion on track, ensuring both sides get a fair hearing.
The solution is one that you and your neighbour agree upon. It is not imposed on you by anyone else. When you reach an agreement, the mediators write it down and read it back to you so you’re both clear about what you’ve agreed.
Mediation for neighbourhood disputes is free, completely confidential and independent of Council.
The contact details for the Brisbane Dispute Resolution Centre appear below.
Phone: (07) 3239 6007
Address: 363 George St, Brisbane City QLD 4000