Noise Guide

 

Having problems with noise?

  • The first step is to talk to the person responsible for the noise. Often the person making the noise isn’t aware that they’re causing a problem and will address the concerns.
  • Who you contact to make a noise complaint depends on the source of the noise. Noise is quite complex and this online noise guide will help point you to the right information and responsible authority.

Residential noise

The Environmental Protection Act 1970 makes it an offence to create unreasonable levels of noise.  The EPA (Environment Protection Authority) is responsible for setting the times when certain residential noise is not permitted. See their website for helpful information about noise including noise laws, guidance and preventing noise.

For help to find the best way to address common residential noise issues refer to the EPA publication: Annoyed by Noise, A guide to dealing with residential noise

New noise laws: The Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 is intended to come into effect in July 2021. The new Act will better equip the EPA and Local Government to meet the environmental challenges facing Victoria including noise. Visit the EPA website for more information.

Noise guide

Aircraft

The Shire has no regulatory control over aircraft in flight over the municipality. Visit the Airservices Australia website for aircraft noise complaints. For matters relating to Tyabb Airfield please see our Tyabb Airfield - Precinct Plan & Community Reference Group webpage.

Animals

Dogs that bark excessively or a crowing rooster can quickly become a source of irritation and annoyance for neighbours.

Visit our Barking dogs webpage to find out what can be done about a barking dog, and how to proceed with a resolution.

For more information on general animal noise, please check our Local law detail page.

Anti-social behaviour

For people fighting, foul language, loitering and domestic disputes please call the Police assistance line on 131 444 or for an emergency 000.

The Shire is generally unable to progress complaints of this nature.

Business, industrial and commercial

If you're disturbed by noise from a commercial property, speak to the person that is causing the noise as soon as the problem arises.

Commercial noise is usually investigated by either by the Shire or the Environment Protection Authority.

Several factors need to be considered including the level of the noise, the amenity of the area and any planning permit applicable, allowing them to operate. The Shire is able to provide you with advice regarding such issues. Visit the resolving noise issues page to report the issue.

Commercial waste collection

Unless otherwise specified in a planning permit, waste collections should occur between the hours of 6:30am - 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9am – 8pm Sunday/public holidays.

If you're disturbed by noise from waste collection you need to identify the vehicle responsible, usually vehicles will be branded with a company logo. Once identified you should talk directly with the company responsible for the collection.

Construction and demolition

If you're disturbed by noise from demolition or construction activities, speak to the owner or site supervisor as soon as the problem arises.

The owner, builder or any person engaged in any construction work on residential premises must ensure that any noise coming from the building site is inaudible in a habitable room of another residential premises beyond the permitted times.

For more information on the permitted times, please visit the EPA website.

Day to day domestic activity

If you're disturbed by noise from domestic activity such as closing doors, talking, laughing, ball sports and children speak to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises.

The Shire is generally unable to progress complaints of this nature.

Drones

The Shire has no regulatory control of drones in the municipality and is generally unable to progress complaints of this nature. 

Visit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website for drone noise complaints.

Emergency maintenance and road works

You will need to talk to the contractor or utility provider conducting the works and they may be able to provide an expected completion date or time.

Some common contacts include:

 

 

Planned maintenance and road works

Planned maintenance and road works may be conducted out of hours to avoid disruption to traffic, public transport or utilities, you should talk directly with the contractor undertaking the works if the noise causes you an issue. You can also speak to the Shire or the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The EPA may issue works approvals for such situations. You can find more information regarding this on the EPA Website.

 

 

 

Licensed venues, bars and nightclubs

If you're disturbed by noise from a licensed venue, bar or nightclub or the behaviour of their patrons speak to the proprietor as soon as the problem arises.

Music from a licenced venue is usually investigated by either the Shire or the Environment Protection Authority

Patron behavior may be investigated by Victoria police or the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

Several factors need to be considered including the noise level, the amenity and any planning permit applicable, allowing them to operate. The Shire is able to provide you with general advice, visit the resolving noise issues page to report the issue.

 

Recreational vehicles

If you’re disturbed by noise from a recreational vehicle (dirt bike, quad bike etc) on private land speak to the owner or occupier as soon as the problem arises.

The owner or occupier of the land must hold a permit to use a recreational vehicle on that land.

Recreational vehicle permits and associated noise is investigated by the Shire. A permit may be issued, in consultation with you, and an agreement reached for location of where bikes are ridden on the property and what days and times bikes are permitted to be ridden. For information refer to our Recreational Vehicle Permits page or visit the resolving noise issues page to report a complaint.

Residential fixed plant equipment (e.g. Air conditioners, pool pumps)

If you're disturbed by noise from fixed plant equipment speak to the owner or occupier as soon as the problem arises. Often, they’re unaware that they are causing a problem and will remedy the situation. Equipment that can cause noise includes; air conditioners, swimming pool pumps, spas, heaters and central vacuums. Some suggestions to control domestic plant noise include:

  • Limiting hours of use
  • Selecting quieter equipment. Refer to the EPA Publication 1176.1: Cool air – quietly and efficiently. A guide to buying and operating an air conditioner.
  • Locating the equipment as far away as possible from neighbours and away from sensitive areas, such as bedroom windows
  • Regularly servicing equipment - lack of maintenance can cause higher noise levels
  • Erecting a solid fence or barrier (note there may be height restrictions)
  • Building an acoustic enclosure
  • Modifying the equipment - discuss this option with the manufacturer or installer.

The owner or occupier of a residential premises must ensure that the noise coming from the equipment is inaudible in a habitable room of another residential premises beyond the permitted times. Please refer to the EPA website for more information regarding permitted times.

Residential music or parties

If you're disturbed by noise from a party, you should contact the Police assistance line on 131 444 or for an emergency 000. 

Victoria Police should also be contacted if the noise relates to anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.

The owner or occupier of a residential premises must ensure that the music or instrument is inaudible in a habitable room of another residential premises beyond the permitted times.

See the EPA website for more information on permitted times.

Residential use of tools

If you're disturbed by noise from use of tools speak to the owner or occupier as soon as the problem arises. Often, they’re unaware that they are causing a problem and will remedy the situation. 

Learn more about resolving noise issues.

Residential vehicles

Motor vehicles (except heavy vehicles, trucks, semi-trailers or similar) moving in or out of a residential premises is permitted at any time. This includes noise associated with vehicles entering and leaving such as warming up, security gates or garage doors.

The Shire is generally unable to progress complaints of this nature. You should speak to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.

 

Road traffic noise

The Shire has limited regulatory control over road traffic noise.

Visit the VicRoads website to lodge noise complaints about highways and freeways. The Shire can provide general advice about Shire owned roads and in some circumstances may undertake a noise impact assessment in accordance with VicRoads Traffic Noise Reduction Policy 2005 or Australian Standard AS 2702-1984 Acoustics - Methods for the measurement of road traffic noise.

Scareguns

Scareguns are devices for producing a loud explosive sound for the purpose of scaring away birds from crops and orchards. Scareguns, when used as the sole bird deterrent, are likely to become significantly less effective after a few days. This is due to the birds becoming accustomed to the noise. There are more effective methods of control available which can be found under section 12 of EPA Publication 1254 – Noise Control Guidelines. If you're disturbed by noise from scareguns speak to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.

 

Short stay rental accommodation

To report excessive noise from short stay rental accommodation that extends beyond the permitted times, please call the Police assistance line on 131 444 or for an emergency 000.

For more information about resolving noise from short stay rental accommodation, see our short stay rental accommodation page.

Street sweeping

Street sweeping is an essential service performed on Residential and Commercial roads, as well as a number of Department of Transport roads (VicRoads). This activity collects and prevents litter from entering our drains and waterways as well as providing a visually pleasing amenity and a safe thoroughfare for cyclists. Residential Sweeping is carried out between 8am and 2pm with Commercial Street Sweeping being conducted outside of business hours. These times have been selected as they reduce disruption to local traffic and trading, pedestrians, public transport and/or utilities.

The noise omitted from a Street Sweeper or a backpack blower within a commercial area is not governed by the EPA and it is at the discretion of the Municipality on when this equipment is in operation. The Shire is generally unable to progress complaints of this nature given the strict timetable required to ensure the Shire meets its commitments, however if you feel the current timetable raises concerns, you can write to us via our Feedback page.