There are steps you can take to resolve issues about the following types of noise.
Noise can come from residential activities such as parties, renovations, appliances, air conditioning and pets.
Under the Environmental Protection Act, it’s an offence to cause unreasonable noise from residential premises. Unreasonable noise is determined by its:
The best way to deal with a noisy neighbour is to approach them and work together to settle the problem. If this doesn’t work you can Report a noise issue.
If you are regularly woken at night by waste collection activities, contact the waste company and let them know that their activities are disturbing you. If you are not comfortable contacting the company or don’t know who to call, you can Report a noise issue. One of our environmental health officers will contact you, discuss the circumstances and advise on an appropriate action.
Melbourne has a vibrant night scene. However, there must be a balance between residents getting a good night’s sleep and venues running successful businesses.
If you are affected by noise from a venue, approach the operator or manager and let them know that noise from their business is affecting you. All premises licensed to serve alcohol are obliged to respond quickly and positively to resolve complaints.
Victoria Police have power to instruct a venue to cease or decrease noise between midnight and 8am.
Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, City of Melbourne planning enforcement officers can investigate to see if the venue is breaching their planning permit or planning scheme.
Check Consumer Affairs for details of the venue’s liquor licence at Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation. Conditions on a liquor license must be adhered to at all times.
Industry noise includes noise from machinery, air conditioners and commercial premises. If you are disturbed by noise from a commercial site, speak to the person that is causing the noise as soon as the problem arises. If this doesn’t resolve the matter, you can Report a noise issue.
When you make a complaint, an environmental health officer will speak with you and investigate where appropriate. A pattern of disturbance must be established before we can take steps to reduce the noise.
Where appropriate, industry noise can be assessed using the Victorian Environment Protection Policy (Control of Noise from Commerce, Industry and Trade) No N-1.
There are industrial noise sources that we can’t do anything about. These include noise from public transport, gasworks, road works and some major development sites.
Development is a fundamental part of the City of Melbourne’s urban environment, but construction works need to be controlled so they don’t become a nuisance to our public.
The Activities Local Law 2009 aims to minimise nuisances caused by building works. Nuisances include noise, dust, vibration, obstructions to pedestrians or traffic and conditions that put the public’s safety at risk.
If you are disturbed by noise from demolition or construction activities, speak to the owner or site supervisor as soon as the problem arises. Often, they’re unaware that they are causing a problem and will remedy the situation. If speaking to the person responsible for the noise doesn’t resolve the problem, contact the City of Melbourne Construction Management Group or Report a noise issue.
In most cases, once a complaint has been made, a building officer will visit the site to determine if a breach of the Activities Local Law 1999 has occurred and what action will be taken if the law has been breached.
The Activity Local Law restricts building works on major construction sites to:
Owner-builders working on a single dwelling or unit are restricted to working from:
On Sundays, owner-builders are not allowed to use air or gas compressors, pneumatic tools including hammer and impact ones, or grinding equipment without a permit.
Minor works outside the above hours are allowed; however, the works must not exceed a sound level determined by an authorised officer. You can be fined or penalised for ignoring these laws.
You must have an out of hours permit issued by the City of Melbourne’s Construction Management Group to carry out building works out of prescribed times. You must give us at least two days’ notice to issue an out of hours permit.
City of Melbourne has no regulatory control over aircraft in flight of the municipality. However, you can make a complaint to the relevant authority if you are disturbed by aircraft noise.
Airservices Australia manages complaints and enquiries about aircraft noise through its Noise Complaints and Information Service (NCIS). Visit Airservices for information on:
How to make a complaint.
Aircraft noise – for information about aircraft noise and reducing its impact.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority – for regulations and guidelines for aircraft operators including an introduction to aviation legislation.
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