Noise restrictions and complaints

The basic noise laws in Victoria

Band playing in garage in Victoria

If the noise is excessive or occurs at unusual hours it might be illegal.

Where you live and the zoning of your property will make a difference to the noise laws that apply to you.

The basic rule is that neighbours must not interfere with each other’s health and wellbeing or make unreasonable noise.

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Noise complaints

Residential noise restrictions

Residential noise comes from many different sources, including loud parties, home renovations and music.The table below explains the times when certain types of residential noise are not allowed.

Different guidelines apply to commercial noise. For more information about commercial noise restrictions call the EPA Hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

Even if the noise is happening within allowed times it may still be considered unreasonable. For example, the noise could be unreasonable because of the time, place or circumstances in which it is being made, or because of its volume, intensity or duration.

Item When you cannot use them

A motor vehicle
(except when
moving in or out of your
home), lawn mower
or other equipment
with an internal
combustion engine

Monday to Friday: 8:00 pm–7:00 am

Weekends and public holidays:
8:00 pm–9:00 am

An electric power tool,
chainsaw, circular saw,
gas compressor, pneumatic
power tool or hammer, or
similar impacting or grinding equipment

Monday to Friday: 8:00 pm–7:00 am

Weekends and public holidays:
8:00 pm–9:00 am

A domestic air conditioner
or evaporative cooler,
heat pumps and other
similar pumps, domestic
heating equipment and
a domestic vacuum cleaner

Monday to Friday: 10:00 pm–7:00 am

Weekends and public holidays:
10:00 pm–9:00 am

A musical instrument and
any amplified sound system,
including a stereo, radio,
television and public address system

Monday to Thursday: 10:00 pm–7:00 am

Friday: before 7:00 am and after 11:00 pm

Saturday and public holidays:
before 9:00 am and after 11:00 pm

before 9:00 am and after 10:00 pm

Any electric equipment
or appliance not listed
above, including gardening equipment

Monday to Friday: 8:00 pm–7:00 am

Weekends and public holidays:
8:00 pm–9:00 am

Resolving problems with noise

If your neighbour is making noise and it is not allowed under the restrictions listed in the table above then the best thing to do is to raise the issue with your neighbour first and try to resolve it.

If this is not possible you can make a formal complaint.

Making a formal noise complaint

The organisation that you contact to make a complaint will depend on the type of noise and its source.

Residential noise

You can complain to your local council about unreasonable noise and noise that is interfering with your health and wellbeing (known as nuisance noise).

You can call your local police station for urgent problems such as a loud party in the early morning hours or where your neighbours are being aggressive as well as noisy.

What the council and police can do
Both local council officers and police officers can direct people to stop making unreasonable noise. These directions can stay in force for up to 72 hours. If someone does not comply with a council or police direction about noise, they can be given an on-the-spot fine for breaking the law.

For more information about residential noise, see the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) publication Annoyed by noise? available from the EPA website. You can also contact your local council.

Commercial noise – entertainment venues

Indoor venue
When the disturbing noise is coming from an indoor venue, such as a pub, restaurant or nightclub, you can make a complaint to either your local council or the police. The police have the power to require a venue to reduce the noise between midnight and 8:00 am.

Large outdoor music event
If you are being affected by noise from a large outdoor music event, you can report it to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), which enforces the noise limits for these functions. See the EPA’s website for more information.

Commercial noise – industry

For noise coming from industries, you can make a complaint to the EPA. The EPA has the power to investigate these kinds of complaints and enforce noise limits against industries.

Call the EPA Pollution Hotline: 1300 372 842.

Commercial noise – shops or small commercial premises

If you have a problem with noise coming from shops or other small commercial premises near where you live, you should make a complaint to your local council.

This page relates to laws in Victoria, Australia. Accurate at March 2015.

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This page was last updated on June 27, 2016