Mayor calls on State Government to end fun police war against pubs, clubs and bars

Monday, 5 August 2019

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has today told the Joint Select Committee on Sydney's Night-Time Economy that the Inner West Council’s Good Neighbour Policy - requiring Council to mitigate not litigate noise complaints against licenced premises - should be mandated for all NSW Councils.

Council rolled out the ground-breaking Good Neighbour Policy across the Inner West in May. It requires all noise and amenity complaints about pubs, clubs and small bars to be mediated before costly compliance action is initiated.

Mayor Byrne, a long-time opponent of the lockout laws, has called on the Berejiklian Government to make the policy mandatory for all NSW Councils as a practical step to boost Sydney’s night-life.

“This is a sensible solution that would help revive Sydney’s live music scene and night-time economy after they were devastated by the imposition of the lockout laws five years ago.

“A culture of complaint has developed in Sydney in which multiple Government agencies take up vexatious complaints against longstanding pubs, clubs and bars,” he said.

“In the Inner West, we now require complainants to sit down with licensees over a coffee or beer before sending in the rangers or the lawyers.

“Gladys Berejiklian could give Sydney night-time economy a big boost by adopting our Good Neighbour Policy across the state.

“The policy wouldn’t require specific legislation to be passed by the Government, and the Office of Local Government would only have to issue a directive to make it mandatory for all Councils,” said Mayor Byrne.

“The fun police war against Sydney’s pubs and clubs must come to an end. This policy sends a clear message to the community that if you live next door to a longstanding venue you should be prepared to be a good neighbour.

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

“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.

For further information, please contact John Roper on 0435 963 787.

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Page last updated: 05 Aug 2019