Austrian MPs say playing children 'not noise nuisance'

Children playing in a pool

In Austria, MPs are fighting to amend a law allowing people to take legal action over the nuisance caused by noisy children, it appears.

A group of liberal MPs has filed a bill to take noise coming from nurseries and playgrounds off a list of possible complaints, the newspaper Der Standard reports. The current law treats the sound of children playing alongside other noise pollution such as lawnmowers.

The rules have already been changed in the states of Upper Austria and Styria. But federal law still lets homeowners ask for compensation for nuisances caused by noise, smells, sewage or smoke, the paper says.

Lawyers representing children have reportedly welcomed the initiative. One of them, Anton Schmid, warns that real change will only come once "people's mindsets change". But legal provisions are "hugely important" for the authorities and judges, he says.

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