What noise is acceptable?

Moreland is a vibrant and diverse city with mixed land uses. As such, some noise is expected and needs to be accepted. However, excessive and unreasonable noise should not be suffered.

A noise being ‘reasonable’ or ‘unreasonable’ depends on circumstances. These can include:

  • the day – a weekday or on the weekend
  • the time
  • how loud the noise is
  • duration of the noise
  • the source and type of noise, and
  • where the noise can be heard, such as inside a bedroom with a window open.

The Dealing with Noise Booklet (PDF 939Kb) and the EPA Booklet - A guide to dealing with residential noise (PDF 2Mb) has more information on how to deal with noise and legal requirements.

Noise from air conditioners or evaporative coolers

The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2008 lists specific types of equipment and the times frames for when you can use them.

You cannot use your air conditioner or evaporative cooler, or pool or spa pump:

  • Monday to Friday, before 7 am and after 10 pm
  • Weekends and public holidays, before 9 am and after 10 pm.

The times depend on the type of equipment being used and the day of the week, however some equipment may still be too loud even when used during the appropriate times.

Noise from residential premises

Some noises that you can hear inside a habitable room, such as a bedroom, are automatically unreasonable at certain times and days from adjacent residential properties.

EPA Victoria website has a list of prohibited times for residential noise.

Section 48A of the Environment Protection Act 1970 makes it an offence to cause unreasonable noise from any residential premises. Residential noise may be unreasonable at any time of the day, depending on its volume, intensity and duration, and the time, place and other circumstances that the noise occurs.

The noise section on EPA website has tips on how to address common residential noise issues.

Noise from commercial and industrial premises

For a complaint about noise from fixed plant and equipment at commercial and industrial premises, contact the Environment Protection Authority.

Noise from businesses delivering and collecting goods

For businesses delivering goods to businesses based in residential zones, under Moreland City Council General Local Law 2018 (DOC 622Kb), deliveries can only occur within the following times:

  • 7 am and 10 pm Monday to Saturday
  • 9 am and 10 pm Sunday and public holidays

Businesses wishing to deliver goods outside these times require a permit from Council.

Noise from intruder alarms

Under the Moreland City Council General Local Law 2018 (DOC 622Kb), an intruder alarm must not be heard beyond the property boundary ten minutes after it starts. It must not be reactivated without being manually reset. Make sure any alarms you install meet this requirement.

Noise from entertainment venues

Loud music from entertainment venues can be a problem, especially late at night.

State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) No. N-2 sets noise limit requirements for noise from entertainment venues.

Compliance with this policy is usually included as a condition in venues' liquor licences and/or planning permits.

The policy aims to protect residents from levels of music noise that may affect the beneficial uses of noise sensitive areas, while recognising the community demand for a wide range of musical entertainment.

Following a report, police have the power under section 48AB of the Environment Protection Act 1970 to instruct a venue to abate any entertainment noise after midnight. These directions stay in force until 8 am.

Noise from animals

Visit noisy animals and barking dogs for further details.

How to make a noise complaint

The Dealing with Noise Booklet (PDF 939Kb) includes a noise diary so you can keep a record of the times when the alleged noise is occurring, how often and the effect it has on yourself and others.

In order for Council to investigate a noise complaint, you are required to first complete this diary and submit to Council.

You can submit the noise diary:

What happens after Council receives your noise complaint

When Council has received your noise diary, a Council Officer will visit the location of the alleged noise and undertake an investigation. 

Council Officers work with the alleged offending property to try to resolve the situation by offering suggestions on how to reduce noise to an acceptable level. 


There are documents on this page in PDF-only format. If you have trouble opening or viewing a PDF document, contact Council and we will arrange to provide the information in a format that suits your needs. See Council's accessibility page for further details.