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Young Hearts Run Free event at the Enmore Theatre.
Photograph: Supplied/Phillip Booth

Enmore Theatre will be Sydney’s first venue to be protected from noise complaints

The historic theatre will be part of the first “special entertainment precinct” in NSW

Written by
Alannah Maher
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One of Sydney’s most beloved venues for live music and comedy will be further protected from local noise complaints under new laws intended to promote live music and make it harder to shut down venues over residential gripes. Enmore Road, including the historic theatre, will be the first area in Sydney to be declared a “special entertainment precinct” after state government legislation was passed in 2020 and the Inner West Council voted unanimously to protect the Enmore earlier this week. 

Posting to Facebook on May 24, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said: “This groundbreaking change will give real incentives for venues to host live music instead of pokies, through late trading allowances and reduced avenues for noise complaints against music venues.” 

Special entertainment precincts have been operating in Queensland since 2006. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, under the package of 63 amendments, restrictions have been removed from mirror-balls, dancing, artist numbers and music genres. The amendments will also make it easier to change a shop or retail premises into a small arts or music venue. Noise regulations are currently enforced by several separate agencies in NSW, but under a special entertainment precinct, all complaints are dealt with by the council.

Together with the recent full repeal of the lockout laws, the safeguarding of this Inner West cultural zone spells great news for the future of local nightlife.

Meet the newly appointed ‘night major’ tasked with transforming Sydney’s after-dark culture.

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