Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Sydney icon-chevron-right Music venues can avoid police shutdowns thanks to a new way of dealing with noise complaints
Live music at Frankie's
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Music venues can avoid police shutdowns thanks to a new way of dealing with noise complaints

Residents and venues will have new tools to negotiate disputes thanks to a new campaign


It’s a tale as old as time: rich person buys property next door to a pub in Sydney, is outraged to hear loud music, and calls upon law enforcement to have it shut down.  

Right now, post-lockdown re-openings are expected to bring a deluge of noise complaints from residents unused to the sounds of people enjoying their city, and the rise of alfresco venues will only exacerbate the issue. In response, a new community campaign is here to provide the resources for venues and residents across Sydney to work together and manage the potential of increased complaints.

Let’s Hear It has been launched by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) in partnership with the Sydney City Liquor Accord. The campaign calls on communities to support their local venues and engage with them directly before pursuing assistance from their local council if necessary, rather than calling the police.

“Our local venues have been hard hit in the past two years and this campaign appeals to communities to be a part of the solution,” says Justine Baker, NTIA chair. 

“Many residents are not aware of the channels available to them when it comes to noise complaints and tend to call the police, where in fact local councils are far better placed to deal with the issue if need be.”

The campaign is promoting a three-part approach. Step one is ‘Let’s Say Hi’ – venues are encouraged to reach out proactively and start a positive conversation with their residential neighbours.

Step two is ‘Let’s Talk’. In the event of any sound issues, residents are encouraged to approach their local venue directly so they can try to determine the source of the sound and work on a resolution. Step three, ‘Let’s Reach Out’, can be deployed if a solution cannot be reached through self-mediation. Residents and venues can then engage their local council and they will be able to assist.

“Who doesn’t want to be mates with their local and what local doesn’t want to be loved by their community?” says Baker. “It’s time to bring Sydney back, and the way we can do that is by being great neighbours.”

Venues can find out more about the campaign here.

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