Businesses must comply with noise limits and not cause unreasonable noise. They must make sure that any noise from their activities or premises doesn’t unreasonably impact the local community. This includes being responsible for contractors or tradespeople they hire.  

Complying with noise limits within metropolitan Melbourne

Businesses must comply with State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Noise from Commerce, Industry or Trade) No. N-1 (SEPP N-1) and its noise limits. This comes under section 46 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act).  

Complying with recommended noise levels in regional Victoria

Outside of metropolitan Melbourne, there’s the guideline Noise from industry in regional Victoria (NIRV) (publication 1411).  

For further guidance on SEPP N-1 and NIRV, see the following publications: 

About EPA notices

EPA can issue a notice to a business that’s not complying with SEPP N-1 or is causing unreasonable noise. Noise that exceeds the NIRV recommended levels can be unreasonable. Noise from sources not assessed using SEPP N-1 or NIRV can also be unreasonable.  

An assessment of unreasonable noise must take all circumstances into consideration (Environment Protection Act 1970 section 31A (1)(e)). This includes how loud the noise is and what it sounds like.   

An EPA notice issued under section 31A or 31B of the Act can require the business to: 

  • comply with SEPP N-1 
  • stop an activity that is making noise 
  • reduce the noise 
  • install or maintain equipment 
  • tell EPA how they will control the noise 
  • monitor and report on the noise. 

Find out more about commercial, industrial and trade noise limits for business.  

Read more about commercial, industrial and trade noise

Commercial, industrial and trade noise

Commercial, industrial and trade noise: EPA’s role

Commercial, industrial and trade noise limits

Report commercial or industrial noise

Reviewed 18 September 2020