Find out about the different types of noise and how the law controls them.
In Victoria, we have laws that control noise, including planning and local laws. EPA and other government regulators also have a role in managing noise and its impacts.
Noise can be annoying or disturbing. If the noise continues or is too loud, it can impact on your health and wellbeing.
Noise coming from a residence can be unreasonable at any time of the day if it’s impacting a neighbouring residence. There are laws which prohibit noise from equipment used at residences at certain times.
Transport noise from individual vehicles, road traffic, trams and trains can disturb sleep and have other health impacts. Laws restrict noise levels from individual vehicles. State Government policies set noise standards for the design of new road and rail transport infrastructure.
Construction noise comes from activities such as demolition, site preparation and building. Work practices and normal working hours control construction noise. Major infrastructure noise can come from large building projects such as freeways, tunnels and rail lines.
Music noise from both indoor and outdoor venues and outdoor entertainment events must comply with noise limits. Venue operators and event managers must take reasonable steps to manage their activities to minimise the risk of harm from noise. There are also rules restricting the operating hours and number of outdoor concerts held in a year.
Noise from commercial, industrial and trade businesses must minimise the risk of harm to human health and the environment as a result of noise from their premises and comply with noise limits. Businesses must make sure that any noise from their activities or premises doesn’t unreasonably impact the local community.
EPA has published a comprehensive guidance series for business and community. The series explores how the environment protection framework (laws and regulations) apply to noise.
The guidance series is in 4 parts:
These guidelines explain the concept of unreasonable noise, including pathways for determining if noise is unreasonable, and how they work with the general environmental duty. It also includes case study examples of compliance, enforcement and resolution of noise pollution events. For information visit, Unreasonable noise guidelines.
These guidelines give a comprehensive explanation of how the Environment Protection Act 2017 (section 25, section 166 and section 168) and the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (Part 5.3, Division 3) apply to noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises. For information visit, Commerce, industry and trade noise guidelines.
These guidelines give a comprehensive explanation of how the Environment Protection Act 2017 (section 25, section 166 and section 168) and the Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (Part 5.3, Division 4) apply to noise from entertainment venues and outdoor entertainment events. For information visit, Entertainment venue and outdoor event music noise guidelines.
These guidelines explain the permitting requirements for individuals and businesses who are planning musical entertainment at an outdoor entertainment venue or event. For information visit, Permit guidelines for outdoor entertainment venues and events.
Reviewed 17 May 2023