Image for Council wants to close Sydney at Midnight

Council wants to close Sydney at Midnight

Written by Michael Carr on November 4, 2010

It seems Clover Moore and her council cronies are at it again, this time seeking to sneak through a few amendments to late night trading policies that essentially grant the council the power to ‘review’ (close) any venue that trades past midnight, serve alcohol and has a capacity of over 120 people.

Attempting to slide this one in under our noses under the guise of cleaning up existing regulations, the pathetic excuse has been shown as nothing more than bullshit by Nanna State, a website that has arisen to fight this threat against our beloved nightlife.

Infact they say it a lot better than I can, read what they have to say below and click here to sign the petition against this unjust and underhanded attempt at stifling Syndey’s vibrant nightime culture.

1. They are introducing what they call reviewable conditions … and check section 2.9 of their new policy …. that means “A development consent that is granted subject to a reviewable condition can be reviewed at any time … or multiple times …'” to respond to (Section 2.7) “such things as changes in the late night character of a neighbourhood or changes in management” … or actually for any reason Council choose, whenever Council chooses, and as often as they choose ….

So basically, your local bar, nightclub, theatre, venue, cafe, wine bar or whatever, if its closes after midnight, and has more than 120 people, and has a bar … can be randomly closed, at any time, for any reason that the Council thinks, and to use their example, they don’t like the way the character of the neighbourhood has ‘changed’ … irrespective of how well the operator runs their venue or how well the punters behave. Currently the Council can only review extended trading hours when a trial ends and they can show that the venue breaches its conditions of approval (typically excessive noise nuisance, breaching trading hours or maximum population)

2. Any time a change is made to the use of a venue, (Section 2.4) which the Council considers an intensification (e.g., trading hours increase by an hour, or the number of patrons goes up in any way, or layout of the place changes to increase patron areas), the venue can’t just make a modification to their approval. They need to make a fresh application and start from scratch, which presumably means all the documentation again, all the plans of management again, all the drawings again, the team of consultants, lawyers and others experts … and trading conditions (e.g., hours, population etc.) a previous approval may have had, is irrelevant. The next time a venue goes to do a renovation, it’s a new application, with all the new rules.

3. Council already has trial trading hours, and despite how onerous they are, they at least give some certainty as to a venue’s approved trading hours – if the operator runs a good and compliant venue. Going to reviewable conditions, eliminates trading certainty for operators, does not serve a valid planning purpose, is not reasonable and in fact is not even linked to the good record of the venue. A venue can have its trading hours and its patron numbers slashed, if the Council no longer thinks the neighbourhood character is appropriate – whatever that means ….

So, these are not administrative changes. This is serious and it undermines our ability to enjoy the nightlife that this city has to offer … if a promoter, owner, tenant or operator has no certainty from week to week that they can trade, without the Council turning up and changing the rules of when they can trade and how many patrons they can have, how can they operate a venue?

They can’t and the Council knows that, despite their denials.

It’s underhanded and dishonest. At least if they came out and said they wanted to close down our night time economy, we could at least have a informed debate and vote accordingly, perhaps for someone younger who loves the true diversity of our City including its nightlife.

These changes are not minor, they are major. They will make their way onto all late night venue approvals over time. And in time, you’ll see a lot less venues as they become less and less viable – not knowing from week to week if they can stay open. And that is the intention of the Council, despite their claims to the contrary.

This discriminates against the young, those that like to stay out late, to dance, to have fun, to see live acts and DJs, and so on.

We bother no one, and still no one represents us, and the nanny state in Sydney Town Hall has decided what’s good for us …

This is crap, Music Feeds won’t stand for it and neither should you.

Join Music Feeds on Facebook

monitoring_string = "5ddc797c5ea15f4a20f5b456893873a5"