Motorbikes on private property

The City of Swan wishes to announce that in a State first it has developed guidelines in relation to the use of motorbikes and other vehicles on private property. The guidelines have been developed to provide criteria to assist City officers in assessing situations involving the use of motorbikes. They are designed to provide a balance between the amusement interests of individual property owners whilst minimising nuisances to surrounding neighbours.

Motorbike and Other Recreational Vehicles on Private Residential Property Guideline(PDF, 70KB)

The guidelines are not a new level of control. Authority to regulate noise already exists under the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 but the guidelines provide clarification on how the City will interpret the existing legislation.

The City would also like to make it clear that if the noise emission complies with the permitted levels under the regulations then the activity would not be affected by the use restrictions of the guidelines. This would typically be dependent on the noise output of the motorcycle and the distance to neighbouring properties. The guidelines relate to situations in which the noise would not otherwise comply with the permitted levels and to which the possible exemption provisions may apply.             

These guidelines will only apply to situations of motorbikes being ridden on private property, not to bikes ridden in state forest or other areas. Complaints involving motorbikes being ridden on public land are to be dealt with by the City's Customer Safety Advocates using the provisions of the Control of Vehicles (Off-road Areas) Act 1978 and its subsidiary legislation.

Quad bikes / farm bikes and similar being used to attend to horses and other animals, and for general farming activities, would not be affected by these guidelines as they would be considered a farming vehicle and exempt.

The Guidelines set out what the City believes are suitable riding frequencies for the exemption to apply based on property size. Where the noise from motorbikes is lower than permitted noise levels under the Regulations (typically larger properties, smaller motorbikes or a combination of both) the activity will not be subject to the restrictions of these guidelines.

The Guidelines have been developed to assist City officers when responding to complaints. The City would encourage both riders and those affected by noise to first discuss the issue as mutually agreed practices may be reached which are outside these guidelines. However if an agreement cannot be reached and a complaint is lodged with the City an assessment of the situation will be made in accordance with these guidelines.