Make a noise complaint about a licensed premises
If noise from a licensed premises, or the behaviour of people making their way to or from a licensed premises is unduly offensive, annoying, disturbing or inconvenient, you can lodge a complaint with Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
If you feel comfortable, you should raise your concerns directly with the licensee before lodging a complaint with CBS. The matter may be resolved quickly without outside intervention.
A complaint must be made by at least 10 people who live, work or worship within the area of the licensed premises. However, the commissioner may accept complaints made by fewer people depending on the nature of the complaint.
There are no fees to lodge a complaint with CBS.
What happens next
When a complaint is made, the commissioner will serve a copy of the complaint on the licensee within 7 days of lodgement and allow 14 days from the date of service before the matter progresses to conciliation or hearing. This is to ensure that the licensee is aware of the concerns and provides an opportunity for the licensee to address the problem, or for the parties to resolve the problem together.
The licensee, and all persons who signed the complaint, will be invited to take part in a conciliation conference with the commissioner or a delegate, usually held at CBS in the Adelaide CBD.
The conciliation conference is not a formal process and there's no need to be represented by a lawyer, but you may choose to do so if you think it's necessary.
At the conciliation conference the commissioner will attempt to conciliate between the complainants and the licensee. If the matter is resolved by conciliation, then the terms of settlement may become conditions of the licence. If conciliation cannot be achieved the matter will be referred to a hearing.
A hearing can take place before a delegate or the commissioner if all parties agree, otherwise it will be heard by the licensing court.
At a hearing before a delegate or the commissioner the licensing authority will take into account a number of relevant factors including:
- the period of time the activity has been occurring
- the trading hours and character of the business
- the desired future character of the area in which the licensed premises is situated
- whether or not the noise from the premises is reasonable in the circumstances
- any environment protection policies that exist under the Environment Protection Act 1993 that apply to the provision of live music on the premises
- any other matter that the commissioner considers relevant.
Each case will be considered on its merits, considering all relevant factors.
If your matter goes before the licensing court, more information will be provided by the court.