Sydney’s Enmore Theatre to be protected from “fun police” noise complaints

The move follows sweeping live music regulations announced last year by the state government

Sydney’s Enmore Theatre could be the first live music venue in the city to be further protected from noise complaints under new regulation changes.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the Inner West Council will consider a proposal to designate the venue as a ‘special entertainment precinct’. If successful, it means noise complaints will be handled by the council, and locals will no longer be able to complain through Liquor and Gaming NSW, the Land and Environment Court and licensing police.

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne said these new regulations would streamline the noise complaint process, which was previously overseen by multiple government agencies.

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“In Sydney, the cliche of a person moving in next door to a long-standing pub and complaining about noise has been a reality for many years,” Byrne told the SMH.

“Worse still, many operators go broke because noise complaints are prosecuted by more than half a dozen government agencies. This tacit fun police force has been strangling the live music sector.”

According to the local government’s website, the next council meeting is scheduled for May 11. Other venues that are being floated as special entertainment precincts in Sydney include the Bridge Hotel in Balmain, and other premises in Newtown, Marrickville and Leichhardt.

The proposal follows an extensive list of regulation changes announced by the NSW government late last year, which lifted restrictions on the type of music or number of instruments permitted in different venues, among other amendments.

A similar move is currently underway in Victoria, where the suburb of St Kilda will prioritise music venues over other kinds of development in the area, protect venues from demolition and place the onus on any new development near a venue to install their own noise insulation.

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