What noise is acceptable?
Moreland is a vibrant and diverse city with mixed land uses. As such, some noise is expected and needs to be accepted.
A noise being ‘reasonable’ or ‘unreasonable’ depends on the circumstances, which includes:
- the day – a weekday or on the weekend
- the time
- how loud the noise is
- duration of the noise
- the source and type of noise, and
- where the noise can be heard, such as inside a bedroom with a window open.
Often the best approach for dealing with noisy neighbours is to talk
to them and work together on a solution to settle the problem.
The EPA Booklet - A guide to dealing with residential noise (PDF 1Mb) has more information on how to deal with noise and legal requirements.
Sources of noise
Noise from air conditioners or evaporative coolers
The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 lists specific types of equipment and the times frames for when you can use them.
You cannot use your air conditioner or evaporative cooler, or pool or spa pump:
- Monday to Friday, before 7 am and after 11 pm
Weekends and public holidays, before 9 am and after 11 pm.*
*Air conditioning noise is exempt from the residential noise regulations during a heat
Noise from residential premises
Some noises that you can hear inside a habitable room, such as a bedroom, from nearby residential properties may be unreasonable at certain times and days. EPA Victoria website has a list of prohibited times for residential noise.
If the noise is from a one-off or infrequent event, such as a party, and is excessive, you should contact Victoria Police. Council only investigates ongoing noise issues.
Victoria Police should also be contacted if the noise relates to anti-social behaviour or criminal activities.
The noise section on EPA website has tips on how to address common residential noise issues.
Noise from commercial and industrial premises
For a complaint about noise from fixed plant and equipment at commercial and industrial premises, contact the Environment Protection Authority.
Noise from businesses delivering and collecting goods
For businesses delivering goods to businesses within residential zones, under Moreland City Council General Local Law 2018 (DOC 622Kb), deliveries can only occur within the following times:
- Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 10 pm
- Sunday and public holidays, 9 am to 10 pm.
Businesses wanting to deliver goods outside these times require a permit from Council.
Noise from intruder alarms
Under the Moreland City Council General Local Law 2018 (DOC 622Kb), an intruder alarm must not be heard beyond the property boundary ten minutes after it starts. It must not be reactivated without being manually reset. Make sure any alarms you install meet this requirement.
Noise from entertainment venues
Loud music from entertainment venues can be a problem, especially late at night.
State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) sets noise limit requirements for noise from entertainment venues.
Compliance with this policy is usually included as a condition in a venue's liquor licence and/or planning permit.
This policy aims to protect residents from levels of music noise that may affect the beneficial uses of noise sensitive areas, while recognising the community demand for a wide range of musical entertainment.
Following a report, police have the power under section 48AB of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to instruct a venue to decrease or stop entertainment noise after midnight. These directions stay in force until 8 am.
Noise from animals
How to make a noise complaint
Before reporting a noise complaint, check the types of noise which are considered unreasonable and can be reported to Council.
For example, if the noise is from a one-off or infrequent event, such as a party, you should contact Victoria Police. Council only investigates ongoing noise issues.
If you are unable to resolve your noise issue with the alleged offender, you may contact Council for further advice. This will enable Council to determine whether the issue should be resolved by Council and provide some advice on managing the issue.
As part of the initial investigation you may be asked to complete a Noise Diary outlining details of the noise and impacts it is having on you. If this is the case the Noise Diary will be forwarded to you as part of the initial complaint discussion.
What happens after Council receives your noise complaint
A Council Officer will conduct an investigation into the noise. Depending on the nature of the issue, this may take several weeks or months. You will be informed of the outcomes of this investigation.
Council Officers may also work with the alleged offending property to try to resolve the situation by offering suggestions on how to reduce noise to an acceptable level.