Opposition calls on O’Farrell Government to support live music in Sydney – mediation before litigation

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Shadow Minister for Planning Luke Foley today called for mediation to be put ahead of litigation when it comes to live music in Sydney – with a proposal to roll out the Good Neighbour policy pioneered by Leichhardt Council.

Mr Foley was joined at NSW Parliament by Hoodoo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner and Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne – and called on the O’Farrell Government to support the moves to restore the balance in support of live music in this city.

Under the proposal the State Government would amend the Protection of the Environment Operations Act to require mediation before litigation when it comes to noise complaints over existing live music venues in Sydney.

This is a process that currently exists for other disputes between neighbours in Sydney’s suburbs, including for disputes over trees under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act which require residents to seek agreement before you can run off to a court.

“These proposed reforms go to the heart of the sort of city and state we want to live in,” Mr Foley said.

“We’ve seen a drastic decline in live music venues over the last couple of decades – and this will rebalance the scales between the rights of musicians and venue owners and the rights of residents.

“For too long live music venues in our city have been shut down by local councils acting like the fun police.

“The Good Neighbour policy is the first step towards reviving Sydney’s live music scene.

“This will require parties to come together to work through issues rather than running off to litigation at the first sign of trouble.

“I would like to work with the O’Farrell Government on ways to roll out this policy to ensure that we can make this happen and ensure we continue to have a city that supports the arts and creative expression.”