Rock venues call for state to roll with vow on noise

The live music industry is calling on the state government to honour a pledge to protect venues against residents who move near to a music venue and then complain about noise. Popular music venues such as Cherry Bar in ACDC Lane, the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood and Ding Dong Lounge in Market Lane are threatened with expensive renovations, limited trading hours or even closure as a consequence of residential developments going up uncomfortably close to their front doors.

Music Victoria chief executive Patrick Donovan said developers were not acknowledging the cultural area they were building into.
”There is no variety in laws and consumers affairs to tell buyers of close-by apartments that they are moving into Melbourne’s music hub,” he said.
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”However, we are working with the City of Melbourne on planning issues to work out how to factor in the cultural facilities in the area.”
The Napthine government vowed to give certainty to live music venues by implementing an ”agent-of-change” planning principle, in which new residents are responsible for costly noise controls and soundproofing as opposed to putting the onus on the venue.
The new protections for venues are yet to appear.
Cherry Bar co-owner James Young said he was concerned about the impact of a 12-storey apartment building at 108 Flinders street. ‘
‘ACDC Lane is identified as a special cultural place where people have the opportunity to stand outside and socialise while the music of the venue flows into the vibe of the lane,” he said.
”However, if we have to airlock the venue because of noise complaints we will lose that.
”It is so sad to see a town that is internationally renowned as the rock and roll city of the world, under stress because of an obsession with increasing population and development.’
Ding Dong Lounge owner Bill Walsh has had continued issues with a single resident living next door to his venue. It has resulted in hundreds of dollars in fines.
”Residents need to understand that when living close to a live music venue, there will be noise,” Mr Walsh said. ”The Liberals have taken a lot of our concerns as a body to heart, and they have been very proactive by explaining to people if you move into an area you have to be told of live music venues.”
Executive director of the Victorian Property Council Jennifer Cunich said it was the responsibility of buyers to determine if they were purchasing near a music venue. ”People want to live in the CBD because it is vibrant, but when they live here they don’t like the vibrancy. Getting the balance right is quite difficult,” Ms Cunich said.
Hosier Lane resident Richard Butcher said noise should be expected when living close to a live music venue.

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