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Local nuisance

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 came into effect on 1 July 2017 to support and enhance our environment by strengthening local nuisance and litter management services within South Australian communities and to ensure environmental complaints are responded to efficiently.

What is local nuisance?

Under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 , local nuisance is described as "any adverse impact on the amenity value of an area, which unreasonably interferes with, or is likely to unreasonably interfere with, the enjoyment of that area by people in that area."

The act specifies what can constitute a local nuisance and can therefore be investigated by Council. Local nuisances are generally grouped into the following main categories:


Noise is generally accepted as being any sound that a person doesn’t want hear, with the result that it becomes a nuisance to an individual. Local noise nuisance can originate from a number of different residential, commercial or industrial sources such as:

  • Construction or demolition works limited to 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturdays
  • Fixed Machine noise (e.g. air conditioning, pool pumps etc) allowed between 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 8pm Sunday
  • Domestic premises noise other than fixed machinery (e.g. Power tools, mowers, leaf blowers, impacting tools, refrigeration equipment etc) allowed between 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 8pm Sunday
  • Street and vegetation maintenance is limited to 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am and 7pm on any Sunday or public holiday

People Noise

Concerns regarding people noise including noisy parties, loud music etc should be directed to SA Police on 131 444.

Animal noise

For information regarding barking dogs please click here

For information regarding noisy parrots, birds or roosters please click here

Please refer to the LGA Nuisance (noise) Factsheet for more information


Odours can emanate from a range of domestic and commercial / industrial sources. Perceptions of odour can be very subjecting. The degree to which odour nuisance affects people depends on the sensitivity of their sense of smell, the stat of their health, previous experience with odour and their tolerance of the odours in question.

Some common causes of odour disturbances may include:

  • dirty or poorly maintained rubbish bins and waste receptacles
  • rotting vegetation or food scraps (particularly seafood)
  • uncovered compost heaps
  • storage of petrochemicals (oils, degreasers, kerosene)

There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of producing an odour nuisance, such as:

  • Ensure waste bins are put out for collection regularly
  • Clean waste bins regularly and or line your waste bin with a waste bin liner
  • Place meat and seafood scraps in the freezer and wait until the night before bin collection day to put them out
  • Ensure composting and mulching is done properly

When undertaking any activities weather conditions should be considered as this can contribute to causing an odour nuisance.

Please refer to the LGA Nuisance (odours) Factsheet for further information.


Burning right is not only good for the environment and peoples health by reducing wood smoke pollution. There are some simple guidelines that will help you get the most efficient results from your heater:

  • Use only dry, seasoned timber to maximise heat release during combustion
  • Use only kindling wood, paper or firelighters to start a fire and never use gasoline, kerosene, charcoal starters or propane torches
  • Keep the wood heater air vents open for 20 mins after lighting the fire
  • Don'd pack the fire and leave it on a low setting
  • Check the flue outside - if after 20 mins there is still smoke coming from the flu, the fuel or air vents may need adjusting to improve the fire
  • Hardwood such as Mallee and Redgum are preferable to softwoods suck as pine
  • Don't burn garbage, painted timber, treated timber (such as permapine) or particle board as toxic fumes are released when burnt.

Please refer to the LGA Nuisance (Smoke) Factsheet and Burn Better For Good Brochure


What is dust and where does it come from?

Dust is fine, dry powder consisting of tiny particles comprised of earth and/or other matter.

Dust particles vary in size from visible to invisible and the smaller the particle, the longer it is likely to remain in the air and the further it is likely to travel. Larger dust particles generally fall out of the air relatively close to where they are generated and form the dust layers that may create a visible film on items such as furniture, furnishings, motor vehicles and other possessions.

Dust is generated by many different sources and activities within a community, such as:

  • Arid land and/or land clearing (exposed surfaces).
  • Construction, building and/or demolition work.
  • Roadworks.
  • Activities carried on around a home.

There are ways you can reduce or mitigate dust whilst undertaking certain activities such as:

  • Schedule activities when the weather conditions are favourable (.g. little to no wind)
  • Spray water on the topsoil in dry conditions to reduce dust leaving the site, also spraying water onto poorly maintained laws will reduce the amount of dust generated
  • Create physical barriers (e.g fencing covered in shade cloth or solid fencing)
  • retain as much vegetation on a site as possible

Please refer to the LGA Nuisance (Dust) Factsheet for further information

Littering & illegal dumping

It is illegal to dispose of your rubbish or unwanted household items in a public place without Council permission according to Local Nuisance Litter and Control Act 2016.

People found dumping rubbish or goods can be:

  • issued with an on the spot fine between $210 and $1,000
  • taken to court and fined maximum penalty from $5,000 to $120,000.

Litter can be any object disposed of by a person, either onto the land or into any waters whether by a pedestrian from a vehicle, or premises. Disposing of litter also means discarding or depositing litter or allowing litter to be blown from or to fall from a premises or vehicle. This can also mean pamphlets or unauthorized flyers in letter boxes or on cars.

Certain types of litter are:

  • Asbestos
  • General Litter
  • used syringes
  • glass
  • live cigarettes or cigarette butts
  • Furniture

Information required to report littering or illegal dumping

If you witness someone littering or illegal dumping please try and get the following information if it is safe to do so:

  • date and time
  • location of where the dumping took place
  • the amount and description of waste
  • description of the person / people involved
  • Description of vehicle (e.g. make, model, color) and registration number

You can report this information to Council and depending on the nature of the report, Council will investigate the matter.

Please refer to the LGA Nuisance (Litter) Factsheet for further information

Posters and flyers

Unauthorised posters and flyers

Displaying unauthorised posters or flyers is known as ‘bill posting’, it’s the display or placement of advertising material on property (buildings, vehicles, street furniture, road-side and railway infrastructure) without the permission of the owner or occupier.

A bill includes:

  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Posters containing promotional material

Note: a moveable sign that is placed or maintained on a road and election signs are not considered a bill.

It is illegal to conduct any bill posting without the consent of the owner or occupier of the property where the bill is to be posted, whether it be councils, businesses, government or individual persons.

Enforcement action may be taken against anyone who has posted a bill without prior consent or permission of the landowner.

Expiation fee: $315

Maximum penalty in the case of a natural person: $10,000

Maximum penalty in the case of a body corporate: $20,000

How to deal with a local nuisance

In the first instance, speak to the person or group causing the issue as they may not realise that what they are doing may be a nuisance to others. Often simple conversations makes the party aware of the issue and can encourage them to take heed.

If you are unsuccessful in resolving the issue or feel uncomfortable doing so please report this to our Customer Service Centre on (08) 8375 6600 and we can investigate the issues and take action if necessary.

What is NOT a local nuisance?

  • Council does not have authority to address other nuisance activities not covered in the act.
  • People noise including music and voices from domestic premises. Refer to SAPOL on 131 444.
  • Activities involving liquor licensed premises. Refer to the Liquor Licensing Authority on 131 882.
  • Noise from vehicles (other than vehicles operating within, entering or leaving business premises).
  • Activities controlled by an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) SA licence, phone 8204 2004.
  • Noise or other nuisance from animals living in their natural habitat.
  • Noise or other nuisance from sporting or associated activities at sporting venues.
  • Noise associated with a school, kindergarten, childcare centre or place of worship.


Under section 18 of the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 Council is able to consider the granting of an exemption from local nuisance-causing activities upon application. Exemptions may be reasonable for short-term activities such as festivals, events or major construction activities where some level of noise, dust, odour or other local nuisance is likely to be unavoidable.

Applications must, however, be accompanied by a nuisance management plan describing the steps that will be taken to prevent, minimize or address any adverse effects on the amenity value of the area concerned and also describing the exceptional circumstances that exist to justify the granting of an exemption.

Local Nuisance S18 Exemption Application

Exemption register

Exemption Number: S0015
Exemption Location: Alice Lane, Tonsley
Exemption Dates: 30 April 2024 6:00am
Exemption Activity: Significant concrete pour for development at Tonsley

Exemption Number: S0016
Exemption Location: Lot 4004 Vertex Lane, Tonsley
Exemption Dates: 1 May 2024 6:00am to 7:00am
Exemption Activity: Significant concrete pour for development at Tonsley

Industrial premises

If a nuisance is coming from an industrial premises, it may be a site that is licensed by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and therefore not within the Council’s jurisdiction. These matters can be referred directly to the EPA.

Further information

Further information can be found at the Local Government Association website.

For further information, please contact:

City of Marion
Community Health and Safety
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047
Post: PO Box 21, Park Holme SA 5043

Environmental Protection Agency - South Australia

In person: Level 8, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000

Post: GPO Box 2607, Adelaide SA 5001