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Noise Complaints Could See Melbourne Music Scene Move To Sydney

Written by Greg Moskovitch on January 6, 2014

The Melbourne live music industry has warned that increasing noise complaints could force venues to shut down if more is not done to protect pubs from the brunt felt by the continued gentrification of the city’s inner-suburbs, where a scene of long-running live music venues once thrived.

As ABC News reports, a single noise complaint from a resident costs a venue thousands of dollars in noise proofing, which many are unable to cover. Guy Palermo, owner of the Bendigo Hotel, who recently came under council fire for noise, explained the position of venue owners to the ABC.

“First time we had a complaint was 10 months ago which was from the same tenant, who had moved into the area and was renting the place,” he said. “There are residents who are closer than this guy, he’s gone now but we still have council on our backs and we’re on the back foot.”

“I don’t think that one resident should be able to justify all that expense and the angst for any venue owner,” Mr Palermo added. While his venue was rescued by a last-minute meeting with council, such resident complaints are consistently threatening Melbourne’s once viable live music scene.

“It’s a big issue, the population of Melbourne is growing rapidly and so is the number of complaints against music venues,” said Dr Kate Shaw, an urban planning researcher at Melbourne University, who helped develop an action plan for Sydney’s Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce.

Part of the City of Sydney’s action plan involved building code changes, a pre-emptive attitude towards noise issues, and a review of the way excessive noise is defined. Dr Shaw told the ABC that Melbourne should take heed of these suggestions or risk losing its famous live music scene.

“I think the scene could move to Sydney, if the opportunities started opening up in Sydney and closing down in Melbourne it doesn’t take much to shift,” she said. Venue owners say they want developers to build more soundproof homes in order to ameliorate the ailing live music scene.

(Via ABC News)

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