Under the Environmental Protection Act 2017, noise complaints in Victoria are regulated by:
- The EPA
- Victoria Police
- Local Council
Unreasonable noise from industrial, commercial or trade premises is regulated by EPA. Music noise from entertainment venues is regulated by both Victoria Police and EPA. Residential noise sources are regulated by both Victoria Police and local Councils.
Council officers may investigate residential sources of noise and decide whether noise is unreasonable. They consider:
- Volume and intensity
- What the noise sounds like – its character
- Time and place
- How long the noise continues
- How often the noise occurs
- Other circumstances
The Environment Protection Regulations 2021 cover specific sources of noise from residential properties. A list of prescribed times and their prohibited times can be found here.
In general, noise must not be heard within a neighbouring dwelling:
- Monday - Friday: before 7 am or after 9 pm*
- On weekends and public holidays: before 9 am or after 11 pm*
*Time restrictions depend on what's causing the noise. Visit the EPA website for more details on time restrictions for residential noise
Many noise complaints reported to Council do not have the required evidence to deem the noise unreasonable. Officers often attend noise complaints to find themselves in ongoing neighbour to neighbour issues which are not necessarily noise complaints.