Setting and reviewing standards

Review of the noise SEPPs

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In 2014 Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) commenced a review of the two State Environment Protection Policies for noise (the noise SEPPs):

  • State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Noise from Industry, Commerce and Trade) No. N-1
    (SEPP N-1)
  • State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) No. N-2 (SEPP N-2).

The noise SEPPs can be found at:

What are the noise SEPPs?

SEPP N-1 sets limits on commercial and industrial noise. SEPP N-1 applies to commercial and industrial premises, such as factories, shops, restaurants, farms, mines and quarries.

The review of the noise SEPPs includes consideration of the approach to regulating commercial and industrial noise in regional Victoria. Currently, SEPP N-1 only applies in metropolitan Melbourne, while commercial and industrial noise outside metropolitan Melbourne is covered by the EPA guideline Noise from industry in regional Victoria (NIRV; publication 1411).

SEPP N-2 applies to music noise from public premises such as pubs, nightclubs, outdoor entertainment venues, restaurants, public halls, gymnasiums and retail stores. SEPP N-2 covers all of Victoria.

Noise SEPPs review update

Independent Inquiry into EPA

In May 2015, a Ministerial Advisory Committee was appointed to undertake an independent Inquiry into EPA. The Inquiry report was published on 16 May 2016. There were a number of recommendations regarding EPA’s role in relation to noise in the report; these are currently being considered by the Victorian Government as part of its response to the Inquiry, which is due later in 2016. EPA and DELWP will consider how the Inquiry recommendations and the government response impact on the draft SEPPs and policy impact assessment.

Engagement with local government                                            

EPA will engage with local government to obtain final feedback on policy options that directly impact on them as co-regulators.

Noise External Reference Group

In early 2015, EPA established the Noise External Reference Group (NERG), a forum enabling stakeholders with an interest in the review of the noise SEPPs to contribute to the policy development process.  

During November and December 2015, we hosted a number of workshops with NERG members, recording valuable input that is now being assessed as part of EPA’s policy development work. NERG members met in late July 2016, when the group was updated on project developments, including work being done on the technical aspects of the noise policies. There will be a workshop with NERG members on these technical aspects later in the year.


The NERG feedback builds upon a range of previous research and engagement, which is collectively informing our policy options. This previous work includes:

  • 2013 metropolitan Melbourne noise exposure maps project – further information available on request
  • 2014 socio/acoustic survey – further information available on request
  • 2014 discussion paper and survey – summary of feedback (including copies of all non-confidential submissions)
  • 2014 stakeholder workshops – included in the summary of feedback
  • 2015–16 NERG meetings – outputs are informing the development of draft policy and policy impact assessment.

Next steps

EPA is assessing the impacts of the existing policy and future policy options.

There will be a second round of public consultation on a draft policy and policy impact assessment in early 2017. We will contact all stakeholders to advise them how to be involved.

Page last updated on 22 Aug 2016