Many people are now working from home. Some people are experiencing an increase in noise because there’s less background noise. Less background noise can make other noise more noticeable.

Noise during coronavirus

Video transcript

The current situation has seen Victorians spending more time at home.

There’s less traffic on the roads and some non-essential businesses aren’t operating. This means noise can be more noticeable. If you’re experiencing unwanted noise – and would like to report it - there are several different ways to do it. Keep in mind there’s exemptions currently in place for some businesses.

Essential businesses that deliver food, drinks, groceries, medicine, cleaning and personal protection products are exempt from existing noise restrictions. This allows them to operate twenty-four hours a day. These exemptions are planned to end three months after the current state of emergency finishes.

EPA continues to regulate noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises. If you’re experiencing noise from factories, warehouses, quarries, mines, shops and offices – you can report your complaint on our website or call our pollution hotline on 1300 372 842.

Your local council regulates residential noise occurring during business hours, noise from large scale residential construction and kerbside waste collection. Residential noise includes unwanted noises from residential properties, such as power tools, sound systems, air conditioners, heating equipment or lawn mowers – contact your local council during business hours.

For unwanted noise happening outside of business hours, from residential or gatherings on public premises, you can call the Victoria Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

For more information you can contact EPA 24 hours a day by calling 1300 372 842 or visit our website https://epa.vic.gov.au

Victorian Government exemptions for essential businesses

The Victorian Government is taking steps to make sure that delivery of essential goods and services can continue. You may notice some noise outside of usual business hours.

The Minister for Planning approved new planning rules that exempt essential businesses from existing noise restrictions.

In addition, there are changes to:

Local Government Bulletins contain the latest information for local government.

Types of noise and who to report to

How you report noise pollution depends on where the noise is coming from.

Noise from waste collection

EPA doesn’t regulate noise from kerbside waste collection services. Local laws enacted by local councils may include obligations for reducing noise in certain circumstances. You can speak to your local council about noise from kerbside waste collections.

Residential noise

Residential noise is any unwanted sound that you can hear from a residential property. It can include noise from:

  • power tools
  • sound systems
  • air conditioners
  • heating equipment
  • lawn mowers.

The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 regulate residential noise. Local council and Victoria Police enforce the Regulations.

You can report residential noise to your local council during normal business hours and to Victoria Police outside normal business hours.

You can find out about reporting noise and which types of noise complaint EPA handles.

Read next

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Handling waste during coronavirus

Residential noise

Reviewed 21 August 2020