Environmental factors can have a major impact upon your health, such as asbestos, noise, odour and smoke. Council can assist you to control these factors or take action to remedy identified problems.
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Contact our Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5366 7100
What is a nuisance?
Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 a nuisance is defined as 'something that is or is liable to be, dangerous to health or offensive'. Offensive can be defined as 'something noxious or injurious to personal comfort'.
Many nuisance complaints can be easily solved by talking to your neighbours. You may feel anxious approaching your neighbour but remember that they are sometimes not aware that they are disturbing you.
Find some tips on how to start the conversation with your neighbour on the Dispute Settlement of Victoria's website.
All nuisance complaints lodged with Council for investigation are dealt with confidentially. However, if the matter is serious enough you may be required to give evidence under oath before a Court if proceedings are instigated.
If the concerns involve industrial sources and premises such as sewage treatment facilities, abattoirs, animal renderers, landfills and composting facilities activity you will need to lodge a complaint with the Environmental Protection Authority.
It's an offence to make unreasonable noise from a residence. In general, you cannot make noise:
- Monday - Friday: before 7 am or after 9 pm*
- On weekends and public holidays: before 9 am or after 11 pm*
*Time restrictions depend on what's causing the noise visit the EPA website for more details on time restrictions for residential noise.
The EPA has developed a guide called annoyed by noise for tips for talking to your neighbours. If you are experiencing ongoing and unreasonable noise in a residential area, there are several ways to fix the problem.
If you don't feel comfortable speaking with your neighbour use our sample letter to help write a letter you can put in their mailbox.
Odour is any smell offensive to the human nose - the most common sources are landfill operations, food processing plants, broken sewers, abandoned garbage and stagnant swimming pools. In most cases, odour pollution does not have long term health effects but can lead to headaches, nausea and vomiting. If you notice an excessive odour coming from a neighbouring property, we recommend you first speak to the owner of the property and direct them to this page for information.
Smoke from wood heaters and open fireplaces can occasionally cause problems for neighbours. Excessive smoke continuing for longer than 30 minutes after the fire is started indicates a problem. There may be problems with the type of material being burnt or how the wood is being stored.
What not to burn:
- Never burn household rubbish, driftwood, treated wood or painted wood. It is sure to pollute the air and it can produce toxic gases.
- Green pine logs used for garden edges and park and playground equipment may have been treated with copper chrome arsenate. These logs are safe to handle but release toxic substances when burnt.
- Painted wood may contain chemicals, including lead, which is very harmful to human health.