A handful of Labor MP’s from the Eastern Sydney suburb Coogee are calling on the state government to save famed live-music venue Selina’s from demolition by deeming it a Special Entertainment Precinct.
The news of the venue’s closure was announced in August, with the owner Chris Cheung announcing that the entire Coogee Bay Hotel (of which Selina’s is situated in) will be demolished, pending council approval of a $111 million redevelopment plan he submitted. He said that there is “no room for Selina’s” in the new plan.
Since then, the NSW government have announced a number of new entertainment venue guidelines that could allow the venue to remain open, provided it is granted SEP status.
“Special Entertainment Precincts can comprise single venues or defined localities, and give venues special dispensations like extended trading hours and more favourable noise management conditions,” said Shadow Minister For Music And Nighttime Economy John Graham.
“Should the Coogee Bay Hotel be declared a Special Entertainment Precinct it would be provided with the regulatory support for entertainment and live music necessary to save Selina’s.”
“The State Government now needs to deliver on its end of the bargain and use the reforms to save our iconic venues and support emerging ones.”
“The framework now exists for governments to establish entertainment precincts and get on with the work of refreshing their planning controls to foster live music and cultural activity for the benefit of their communities and visitors.”
“Selina’s is the first test of getting this right or risking losing a Sydney music institution. A stage which has hosted so much of Sydney and Australia’s music history – hosting Midnight Oil, Crowded House, the Angels and the Hoodoo Gurus as well as landmark international tours by the likes of Elton John and David Bowie – deserves to be preserved not just as a relic but as a living entertainment venue.”
MP Marjorie O’Neill also spoke on the issue, saying “Selina’s has played a huge part in the history of the Eastern Suburbs and our musical legacy. The disappearance of landmark venues like The Bondi Lifesaver and now potentially Selina’s have meant that the new generation of creatives have limited local stages to perform or get their big breaks.”
“The survival of Selinas is vitally important, that’s why I have moved a Notice of Motion in NSW Parliament that would ensure the sustainability of the venue.”
Earlier in the year, the entirety of Enmore Road in Enmore, including the Enmore Theatre was named as the first Special Entertainment Precinct in the state.