Council to help pubs and residents to be good neighbours

Monday, 3 June 2019

Inner West Council has established a ground-breaking Good Neighbour policy requiring all noise and amenity complaints about pubs, clubs and small bars to be mitigated not litigated.

Under the new policy, Council officers will be required to convene a meeting with complainants and venue operators to discuss solutions rather than immediately launching compliance or legal action when complaints are received.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has called on all NSW Councils to adopt the policy and for the Berejiklian Government to make it mandatory.

“The fun police war against Sydney’s pubs must come to an end. Our Good Neighbour policy can help provide a barrier of protection for our licensed premises against vexatious complaints.

“This new rule sends a clear message to the community that, in the Inner West, if you live next door to a longstanding venue you should be prepared to be a good neighbour.

“I call on the Premier to take up this common-sense idea and mandate it for all Councils.

“Longstanding pubs, clubs and other licenced venues are essential part of the character, history and heritage of Sydney,” he said.

“Every NSW Council should be collaborating with the music industry and local residents to resolve complaints over a beer or a coffee rather than in court.

“Council has a statutory obligation and community responsibility to protect the amenity of residents. However we also have a responsibility to support the successful operation of local businesses, including pubs,” said Mayor Byrne.

In 2013 an inner west live music icon, the Annandale Hotel, was driven into receivership, due partly to difficulties with regulation and noise complaints. Later that year the former Leichhardt Council adopted a Good Neighbour policy, which was aimed at ending legal action against live music venues.

The Good Neighbour policy aims to protect and support both the amenity of residents and the commercial viability of venues.

Inner West Council will expand the policy to cover not just mediation over live music complaints, but all amenity impacts from local pubs, clubs and other licenced venues.

“The best way to protect our night-time economy and local residents is through mediation and consensus resolution to problems as they arise,” said Mayor Byrne.

For more information, please contact John Roper at 0435 963 787.

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Page last updated: 03 Jun 2019