| 24 Feb 2024
Melbourne's live music venues to have better protection, as per new Govt rules

MUMBAI: According to Australian newspaper- The Age: Victoria, Melbourne's live music venues will have better protection against noise complaints from new residential developments under a suite of changes called 'Agent-of-change principle', to be signed off by Melbourne Planning Minister Matthew Guy this week.

The 'agent of change' principle means anyone moving into an area near live music venues will be responsible for footing the costs of sound-proofing it. It will ensure venues can stop looking over their shoulders, worrying that new residents could wield their power to close down the shop.

"This means beloved pubs and clubs that are home to live music in Victoria will not be forced to close due to noise complaints from those in new apartment buildings or new houses next door," Guy told The Age. "This is by far and away the strongest planning regulatory reform in Australia that protects existing live music venues."

Guy will make changes to planning regulation that will ensure the agent of change rules are applied as well as create a half million dollar fund to help heritage venues become sound proof. Under the rules, new developments, particularly those within 50 metres of a live music venue, will be responsible for noise mitigation.

Guy acknowledged that the government had hoped to finalise the agent of change rules by April. But reports said that the government had been working hard with the industry to build the new rules in a complex field.

In 2012, Music Victoria released a paper calling for reform to protect live music. Chief executive Patrick Donovan welcomed the reforms but said the industry also wanted to expand protection to other live music sites such as recording and rehearsal studios. "This is a big win for the Victorian live music industry, a lot of things that were broken have finally been fixed. While unfortunately it is too late for some venues, like Cherry Bar, it looks like it has come in just in the nick of time for many other venues," Donovan said.