Find out what steps to take if you are suffering from nuisances such as noise or odour. Council can assist you to control these factors or take action to remedy identified problems.
Quick online tasks
Contact our Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5366 7100
Residential Complaints may fall under the nuisance provisions under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.
If you are experiencing ongoing and unreasonable noise or odour problems in a residential area there are a few things you can do before making a formal complaint to Council.
Many residential complaints can be easily solved by talking to your neighbours. You may feel anxious 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.
Dealing with noise
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.
Dealing with smoke and odour from woodheaters
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
If your house was built or renovated before the mid-1980s it is likely to contain asbestos cement building materials. Asbestos fibres were used widely in building materials before the mid-1980s.
Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring rock minerals. The fibres are strong, heat resistant and have natural insulating properties. All use, import or manufacture of asbestos was banned completely in Australia by 2003.
To enable householders to sensibly and safely manage the risks arising from occasional encounters with asbestos materials, enHealth created a comprehensive guide: Asbestos - a guide for householders and the general public.
Safe Work Australia has compiled a Code of Practice about the safe removal of asbestos from workplaces.
View the following resources for further information:
- Asbestos Awareness in the Home
- List of suitable Asbestos Removalist
- Identifying and Dealing with Asbestos in Your Home - A Guide for Householders and the General Public
- Better Health Channel - Asbestos