After a protracted battle lasting over a decade, Victoria’s live music scene today welcomes the implementation of Agent of Change laws that will better protect venues from noise complaints by new residential developments.
“Today is a very important day for Live Music in Victoria. Today the Agent of Change principle will be implemented,” wrote industry lobby group Save Live Australian Music (SLAM) on their Facebook page. “Once gazetted into Planning Policy, our loved venues and performance spaces will be protected from encroaching residential development.”
“Since the day we marched on parliament in 2010 when SLAM was formed, one of our biggest goals was to see this principle through,” they added. The Agent of Change rule is a part of a suite of new reforms singed into action by Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy just last month.
Under the revised rules, new developments, particularly those within 50 metres of a live music venue, will be responsible for footing the costs of sound-proofing themselves. “This means beloved pubs and clubs that are home to live music in Victoria will not be forced to close due to noise complaints from those in new apartment buildings or new houses next door,” Mr Guy said at the time of signing the legislation.
It was also announced earlier this year that the Victorian state government will also set up a $500,000 assistance fund to assist venues in heritage buildings, which are not helped by the agent of change laws, with the expense of sound proofing.