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Have your say on noise regulations in Northbridge area

23 Nov

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Earlier this year The State Government unveiled plans for a crack down on whingers who move close to late night clubs, pubs and music venues in Northbridge, then complain about the noise – revealing a suite of suggested reforms that aim to better protect venues operating within defined “entertainment precincts”.

You can have your say on the proposed reforms online here! Get in quick though, survey submissions close Monday 26 November.

For the most part, these reforms reflect an important first step in better protecting music venues. Under the proposed changes, new developments would have to come with a noise warning on the title and new developers would be responsible for noise attenuation, not the existing venues. Regulations would also be changed so that noise levels would be assessed from inside an apartment with doors and windows closed, rather than outside on the balcony.

One proposed change however does raise some concern; the agent of change principle. The ‘agent of change’ principle ensures primary responsibility for noise attenuation in buildings rests with the party making changes to the environment – such as through new development. On the surface this seems fairly logical, however, this could also mean that a new music venue opening in Northbridge would be fully responsible for noise attenuation despite the fact they’re moving into a known entertainment precinct. If entertainment is the primary activity in the precinct, venues need to be protected regardless of whether they were there first or new to the area.

“For the record, WAM’s position on Agent of Change is that in its current form as legislated in Victoria, it is deeply flawed and would need consideration and amendment to work effectively in WA,” said WAM CEO Mike Harris.

“Precincts that make entertainment the primary activity, irrespective of whom is the “agent of change”, and requiring that all development must be built to a standard are a far better option. An amended Agent of Change legislation can work effectively, enacted state wide, but best in conjunction with specific entertainment precincts which would have primacy.”

Survey submissions close Monday 26 November. Have your say on the proposed reforms online here!

The full paper and brochure are also available for download here, if you want to learn more.

Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.