Noise Nuisance

Noise can be a significant problem, especially in urban areas. Noise nuisance is unwanted sound that can come from many different sources in your neighbourhood: things like loud music, machinery and equipment. Noise which is emitted from residential premises and unreasonably interferes with a person’s enjoyment of the environment can result in penalties being imposed.

Noise can affect health and wellbeing, particularly when sleep is interrupted. Some effects of noise include stress, annoyance and tiredness. The experience of noise is individual, so it is important to consider your own perception of sounds that annoy or disturb you.

Neighbour disputes vs Environmental Nuisance

It is important to know that there is a difference between neighbour disputes and causing an environmental nuisance.

A neighbour dispute may be an activity which is annoying but otherwise harmless. An environmental nuisance causes unreasonable interference. Basically, it is an activity which causes more of a problem than a reasonable person should be expected to put up with.

We will not become involved in neighbour disputes. These are matters for trained mediators. Council may only become involved where it is shown that an environmental nuisance exists.

If you are having problems with noise, we suggest that you first contact the person or company making the noise. The friendly approach is always the best! They may not be aware that it is causing a problem for you.

Making a noise complaint to Council

If speaking to the person does not improve the situation, you can make a complaint in writing to Council. This complaint should include detail of dates and times relating to when the noise has occurred and the address of where the problem is. You should also be prepared to show that an activity has caused, or is likely to cause, unreasonable interference.

When we receive the complaint our Environmental Services officers will investigate the complaint.

If you would like to make a noise complaint please contact us on (03) 6211 8200 or

Noise regulations

Noise is regulated by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016 .

These noise regulations do not apply to noise that is specified in documents such as a planning permit, a building permit, or a permit granted by the Commissioner of Police.

The noise regulations do not apply to noise that is emitted by the operation of any equipment or machine carrying out work that is required for:

  • public health and safety
  • the provision of emergency services personnel in emergency situations
  • the safety and security of plant and equipment in emergency situations.

For more information please see Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016