Policy

National Construction Code (NCC)

Building regulations have traditionally used a ‘classification’ system to separate distinct building types into classes.

The current BCA has a 16 class system which goes back to at least the 1970’s, is essentially unchanged from this period and is therefore at least 40 years old.

Things were very different in the 1970’s, where theatres used flammable film, smoking was allowed, and venues may well feature tiered fixed row seating with drapes for example.

In recent years, both NSW and Victoria have introduced state specific regulations to better support live music venues within this system. In June 2015 The South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure are preparing an Adaptive Reuse of Buildings Policy.

With variations also being considered in other states, the case is building for adopting these reforms as a nationally consistent approach.

Read the Live Music Office Live Music Venues and the Building Code of Australia Issues Paper.

A report released today prepared by town planning consultants Design Collaborative commissioned by the Live Music Office and the City of Sydney, Low Risk Arts and Cultural Venues – A NSW Case Study of Live Performance for National Application, tables a review of town planning controls surrounding the provision of live entertainment.

Download the Low Risk Arts and Cultural Venues – NSW Case Study for National Application

The key findings arising from the research are:

  • The barriers to obtaining approval to provide entertainment are too high in order to encourage low key, live performances at the community and grass roots level.
  • Inflexibility of the planning system in permitting low risk entertainment as an independent land use
  • The need to appropriately define and characterise low risk premises that wish to provide entertainment
  • High complexity and cost of the planning system for applicants.

Whilst important changes to planning legislation in NSW in 2009 removed the requirement for development consent for entertainment in pubs and restaurants, presently, all purpose built entertainment premises and other commercial premises that seek to provide entertainment require approval as an “entertainment facility” and to be built to the highest building standards under the Building Code of Australia in New South Wales.

Arising from this review, and through the benefit of two (2) case studies of live performance venues, the Paper makes recommendations that seek to simplify the process of obtaining planning and construction approval for the carrying out of entertainment in small low risk premises as a building block for the industry. Importantly, if no works are proposed, spaces could be used with minimal upfront cost.

Live Music Office Policy Director John Wardle said

“Delivering these planning recommendations for low risk arts and cultural use will bring big results for the small to medium arts sector in Australia”.

“The proposed changes would create affordable and accessible small venues, and enable initiatives like creative hubs for community centres and local government, pop up events for festivals, and encourage in-store performances in record stores, music schools and retail, supporting much greater participation and diversity in the performing arts”.

“Creating a new category of low risk arts and cultural venue following Victoria’s lead in 2014 is a crucial action for all the states and territories, to cut cost, red tape and support enhanced opportunities for Australian voices and Australian stories”.

The recommendations arising from this Paper advocate for

  • Changes to local Environmental Planning Instruments or State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 and
  • The creation of a new definition for premises where the provision of entertainment could be considered low risk with respect to the potential for adverse noise or social impact and fire safety.

These changes will provide clear pathways for development approval for low risk entertainment premises.

If the recommendations were adopted it is anticipated it would result in

  • Reduced timeframes for approval to provide entertainment,
  • Reduced costs,
  • Increased transparency and understanding of important town planning requirements

 

This would consequently increase the level of compliance in premises that provide entertainment and thereby encourage the provision of entertainment in a safe and cohesive manner.

James Lidis, Director of Design Collaborative notes that the changes proposed will also have strong social and economic benefits for cities.

“Fine-grain arts and cultural facilities are a necessary ingredient to creating a dynamic and interesting human environment, and importantly, will fill a gap in the depressed retail lease market to occupy empty shopfronts and disused buildings on our high streets whilst simultaneously giving patrons and shoppers a new reason to visit these areas”.

 

Contact

 

John Wardle,

Policy Director Live Music Office

0407400018

john@livemusicoffice.com.au

 

James Lidis,

Director of Design Collaborative

9262 3200

JamesLidis@designcollaborative.com.au

 

 

Building regulations have traditionally used a ‘classification’ system to separate distinct building types into classes.The current BCA has a 16 class system which goes back to at least the 1970’s, is essentially unchanged from this period and is therefore at least 40 years old.

Things were very different in the 1970’s, where theatres used flammable film, smoking was allowed, and venues may well feature tiered fixed row seating with drapes for example.

This report looks at the differences in application of building regulations prescribed by the National Construction Code, Building Code of Australia Volume One (BCA) for Class 6 retail buildings (specifically hotel bar area) and Class 9b public buildings. In particular the report will considers the implications of a Class 6 hotel bar area also having live music, which is typically considered as a Class 9b use in accordance with the BCA.

In recent years, both NSW and Victoria have introduced state specific regulations to better support live music venues within this system. With variations also being considered in other states, the case is building for adopting these reforms as a nationally consistent approach.

Read the Live Music Office Live Music Venues and the Building Code of Australia Issues Paper.

This report was prepared by Stephen Kip – Director, SKIP Consulting Pty Ltd

Marrickville Council’s Local Environment Plan 2011 recognises that the Marrickville area is the centre of Sydney’s independent arts scene and is home to many artists, studios, commercial art galleries, artist-run initiatives, theatres and festivals.

The LEP includes a ‘B7 Business Park’ zone that has the objective of providing for creative industries such as the arts, technology, production and design sectors. It is an employment zone that permits limited residential development in conjunction with employment uses at the ground floor.

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/epi+645+2011+cd+0+N

The ‘IN2 Light Industrial’ zone will allow for certain creative industries which take the form of business premises or office premises in the arts, technology, production and design sectors.

The creative industries provided for include:

  • audio-visual, media and digital media
  • advertising
  • craft, visual arts and Indigenous arts
  • design
  • film and television
  • music
  • publishing
  • performing arts
  • cultural heritage institutions

Marrickville Council is currently investigating how to turn the fascinatingly gritty area known as Marrickville/Sydenham Industrial Lands into a thriving, 24-hour destination that live music venues and traditional and creative industries call home – a ‘creative industry hub’ servicing the whole of Sydney.

6.12   Business and office premises in certain zones

(1)  The objective of this clause is to promote certain types of business and office premises in Zone IN2 Light Industrial and Zone B7 Business Park.

(2)  This clause applies to land in the following zones:

(a)  Zone IN2 Light Industrial,

(b)  Zone B7 Business Park.

(3)  Development consent must not be granted to development for the purpose of business premises or office premises on land to which this clause applies unless the consent authority is satisfied that the development will be used for a creative purpose such as media, advertising, fine arts and craft, design, film and television, music, publishing, performing arts, cultural heritage institutions or other related purposes.

 

On 12 June The City of Sydney, University of Sydney and the Live Music Office co-presented the Creative Spaces and the Built Environment Forum at The University of Sydney as Action 2.3.3 from the City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Action Plan.

Event Preamble

Australia’s cities have shifted from centres of manufacturing and industry to the drivers of a globalised economy fuelled by knowledge, creativity and innovation. This shift relies on a host of new cultural enterprises, ranging from artist, community and performance spaces, to co-working, start-ups, micro and niche manufacturing, pop-up retailers and entirely new business models.

Unfortunately, existing regulatory systems often lack clear criteria for these new forms of land and building use. Applicants frequently struggle to identify suitable building code and planning classifications, whilst consent authorities struggle to assess the risk and amenity impacts of hybrid, mixed purpose and previously unseen types of activity.

With the nation’s creative industries vital to our future, Australian cities need regulatory frameworks which balance this new productive economy with the need to maintain a safe and accessible built environment.

This forum brought together experts within the fields of building, planning, access and safety with those working within the cultural, creative and knowledge sector.

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Program

9:15 Introduction:

Host: Tim Horton

  • Lord Mayor’s Welcome
  • Overview of the day

9:30 AM: Panel One: Creative Spaces: Four Studies

Panellists:

  • Penelope Benton (National Association for the Visual Arts, Red Rattler, First Draft)
  • Jon Perring (Tote Hotel, Victorian Live Music Round Table)
  • Greg McTaggart (Opera House)
  • Kerri Glasscock (Sydney Fringe Festival, 505s)

Four of Australia’s most experienced managers of creative spaces spoke about their use of the built environment and the difficulty of negotiating regulations. Their expertise ranges from upgrading the nation’s oldest artist run gallery, the adaptive re-use of a former warehouse into a multipurpose community space, revising licensing and building risk profiles for music venues, establishing short term theatre uses, and ensuring disability access for the nation’s most iconic arts venue.

The purpose of this panel is to help outline the common hurdles and identified solutions to the use of buildings for creative and cultural activity.

11:30 AM Panel Two: Building, Planning and Culture

Panellists:

  • Michael Wynn-Jones (UTS Centre for Local Government)
  • Neil Savery (Australian Building Codes Board)
  • Assoc. Prof. Shane Homan (Monash University)
  • Dr Kate Shaw (University of Melbourne)

With knowledge of building, planning, economic and cultural policy spanning across all three tiers of government, panellists considered the policy framework governing creative spaces, its history and purpose, and how it may need to be altered for new land and building uses. This was intended as a broad ranging discussion, aimed to help shape the themes for our afternoon workshop.

 

1:00 – 3:00 Workshop

Moderator: Prof Peter Phibbs

Following the morning panels,  participants took part in a smaller afternoon workshop to consider the examples from the morning workshops, discuss the points of difficulty from a building, planning and venue management perspective, and consider how systems might be interpreted or reviewed without loss of safety or amenity.

 

Panellist Biographies

Penelope Benton

Penelope Benton is a practicing artist working across sculpture, performance and installation and is the Senior Administrator at the National Association for the Visual Arts. She was one of the Co-Founders/Directors of The Red Rattler, a volunteer-run warehouse in Marrickville NSW for artists and activists, completed a two-year directorship at Firstdraft Gallery in 2008, and was Co-Artistic Director of Art Month Sydney 2013. She has a BA Visual Arts from the University of Newcastle, Masters in Art Administration from UNSW, Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from UTS, and is a current Masters of Fine Arts candidate at UNSW.

Kerri Glasscock

Kerri Glasscock has worked in various roles on the Sydney arts scene for the past 18 years. In 2004 she co-founded the underground performance space 505 in Surry Hills ,opening a second venue, the Old 505 Theatre, in 2011. She is currently the Director of the Sydney Fringe Festival and sits on a number of boards and committees including live music taskforces in Sydney, Leichhardt and Marrickville. Kerri was included in the Sydney Morning Herald’s 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People List of 2011, whilst Venue 505 has been included as one of the top 150 Jazz Clubs in the world by Downbeat magazine (U.S.A) for the past three years running.

Associate Professor Shane Homan

Shane Homan is Head of Communications and Media Studies at Monash University. Through memberships in various organisations (Music Council of Australia; ARC Cultural Research Network; FairGo4Live Music) his work has engaged with the industrial and policy contexts of music production and consumption. Shane has also been Chair of the Australia-New Zealand branch of IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music) and General Secretary of its international executive. He is currently a member of Victorian and NSW government committees examining the health of live music venues. Shane has completed commissioned reports on the music industries for Melbourne City Council, the NSW Ministry of Arts and the Australia Council. He has been a project leader and chief investigator on several Australian Research Council grant projects, such as Policy Notes: Local Popular Music in Global Creative Economies (2010-2012). Shane has been active in achieving legislative reform across a range of issues relating to music activity, including reform of laws applying to live music in Australia.

Tim Horton

Tim is the Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board and the former South Australian Commissioner for Integrated Design/ He is an award winning architect with experience spanning the public and private sector in Australia and internationally. In 2013 he was the founding CEO of the Committee for Adelaide. He has also held positions as state President and National Director of the Australian Institute of Architects, a member of the editorial board for the Australian Urban Design Protocol and the Built Environment Industry Innovation Council, and a board member of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network, the Australian Design Alliance, the CRC for Low Carbon Living and South Australia’s leading craft and design body, the Jam Factory.

Greg McTaggart

Greg McTaggart is a qualified engineer and has worked at Sydney Opera House since 2003. Greg has had responsibility for the planning and delivery of all major building projects at Sydney Opera House since 2003, including the Utzon Room, Western Colonnade, Western Foyers, external lighting and the Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety project. In his current role as Director of Building Development and Maintenance he also has responsibility for the maintenance and conservation of the building, emergency planning and response, food and beverage and planning for future capital works projects. Greg is a member of the Sydney Opera House Conservation Council.

Greg has been involved in the delivery of public infrastructure and building projects for over forty years. He has worked on a diverse range of projects including schools and hospitals, water supply and sewerage infrastructure, grain handling facilities and major sporting venues including ANZ Stadium, Sydney Athletic & Aquatic Centres and the Regatta Centre at Penrith Lakes. For more than a decade Greg worked on the planning, construction and operational activities associated with the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Jon Perring

Jon Perring has a long standing involvement in music, planning, licensing and building policy through his work as a founding board member of Music Victoria and positions on the Victorian Live Music Roundtable and City of Yarra Live Music Working Group. He has also worked with advocacy groups FairGo4LiveMusic and Save Live Australian Music, and is the co-owner of iconic venues The Tote, Yah Yah’s and Bar Open. He has been central to Victorian State Government reforms to support music venues, providing industry and policy expertise on Agent of Change reforms, a State BCA variation, and liquor licensing laws.

Neil Savery

Neil Savery was appointed General Manager of the Australian Building Codes Board in 2013. He has extensive experience as a senior public sector administrator, having previously held positions as the Victorian Deputy Building and Plumbing Industry Commissioner, Chief Executive of the ACT Planning and Land Authority and Executive Director of Planning in South Australia. He has qualifications in town planning, urban design and ecologically sustainable development, and was formerly Chair of the National Planning Officials Group, Adjunct Professor in Urban Design at Canberra University and National President of the Planning Institute.

Dr Kate Shaw

Dr Kate Shaw is an urban geographer and planner at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on the cultures of cities and the political-economic and social processes that shape them. Kate’s background is in alternative cultural practice; these days she works with governments and local campaigns on regulatory reforms necessary for equity and diversity in the city. She is Deputy Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Creative Spaces working group, a member of the Victorian state government live music roundtable, and participated in the City of Sydney’s live music taskforce.

Michael Wynn-Jones

Michael was formerly Deputy President of the NSW Building Professionals Board, chair of the Board’s Accreditation committee, and deputy chair of the Policy and Access Advisory Committees. He has worked as a consultant to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure on various projects associated with the built environment, including the Complying Development Code and the Federal Premises Standards, and assisted the Department with the introduction of private certification in 1997. He has developed Building Regulation, fire engineering and bushfire courses at Post Graduate level and taught at multiple universities, and is currently a Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle and an Associate the UTS Centre for Local Government. He is also an A1 private certifier with more than twenty years’ experience providing consulting and education services.

In September 2014 the NSW Department of Planning and Environment placed draft guidelines for NSW residential development on exhibition. These provisions include seals preventing noise transfer through gaps as well as double or acoustic glazing, acoustic louvres or enclosed balconies (wintergardens).

https://majorprojects.affinitylive.com/public/7708922f528df709034d841fa30e7c53/SEPP%2065%20-%20Apartment%20Design%20Guide.pdf

Properties located near major roads, rail lines and beneath flight paths can be subject to noise and poor air quality. Similarly, hostile and noisy environments such as industrial areas, substations or sports stadiums can have impacts on residential amenity. Careful design solutions can help to improve quality of life in affected apartments by minimising potential noise and pollution impacts.

This section addresses design responses on sites that are affected by significant noise and pollution sources. Section 4S Acoustic Privacy deals with more typical residential developments that do not face these challenges

4T-1 The siting and layout of buildings minimise the impacts of external noise and pollution

Acceptable solutions

  1. A number of the following design solutions are used:
  • residential uses are located perpendicular to the noise sources and where possible buffered by other uses
  • non-residential buildings are positioned parallel to the noise source to provide a continuous building shielding residential uses and communal open spaces
  • non-residential uses are located at lower levels vertically separating the residential component from the noise source
  • where solar access is in the opposite direction to the noise or pollution source, habitable rooms are located away from these and storage areas, circulation areas, non-habitable rooms and kitchens provide a buffer to the noise or pollution source
  • where solar access is in the same direction as the noise or pollution source, apartments are dual aspect with shallow building depths
  • landscape design reduces the perception of noise and acts as a filter for air pollution generated by traffic and industry

4T-2 Noise transmission is mitigated by appropriate noise shielding or attenuation techniques for the building design, construction and choice of materials

Acceptable solutions

  1. A number of the following design solutions are used:
  • number and size of openings facing noise sources are limited
  • seals prevent noise transfer through gaps
  • double or acoustic glazing, acoustic louvres or enclosed balconies (wintergardens)
  • materials with mass and/or sound insulation or absorption properties e.g. balcony balustrades, external screens and soffits

 

In NSW in 2007 an exemption to the BCA assembly building provisions were progressed in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Temporary Structures and Places of Public Entertainment) 2007 (4 Use of existing building comprising licensed premises, restaurant or public hall as place of public entertainment). These provisions could be considered to have a similar function to the October 2014 changes to the Victorian planning system through the Building Amendment (Live Music) Regulations 2014.

This regulation change ultimately failed – as NSW consent authorities considered that the reference did not give them authority to default to the exemption over the BCA.

This position would seem to be in conflict with the LEGISLATIVE ARRANGEMENTS GENERAL of the BCA which state:

The BCA is given legal effect by building regulatory legislation in each State and Territory. This legislation consists of an Act of Parliament and subordinate legislation which empowers the regulation of certain aspects of buildings and structures, and contains the administrative provisions necessary to give effect to the legislation.

Any provision of the BCA may be overridden by, or subject to, State or Territory legislation. The BCA must therefore be read in conjunction with that legislation. Any queries on such matters should be referred to the State or Territory authority responsible for building regulatory matters.

For the record, the 2007 NSW provisions are as follows;

4 Use of existing building comprising licensed premises, restaurant or public hall as place of public entertainment

(1) The use of an existing building comprising licensed premises, a restaurant or a public hall on land that is not in a residential zone as a place of public entertainment, but only if:

(a) the noise level emitted during the public entertainment (asdetermined in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1055.1—1997,

Acoustics—Description and measurement of environmental noise, Part 1: General procedures) does not exceed the ambient background noise level in any octave band centre frequency (31.5Hz to 8KHz inclusive) by more than 5dB

(A):

(i) at the boundary of the lot on which any residential accommodation is located, and

(ii) if the existing building is on the same lot as (but not in) a building containing any residential accommodation—on the outside wall of the building containing that accommodation, and

(iii) if the existing building contains any residential accommodation—within the residential premises concerned, and

(b) the floor area of the part of the building used as a place of public entertainment does not exceed 300 square metres.

(2) Subclause (1) (a) (i) does not apply in relation to any boundary of the lot on which the existing building is located unless that boundary is shared with another lot on which residential accommodation is located.

(3) A reference in this clause to a building does not include a reference to a temporary structure

(e) the number of persons occupying any floor area, in the part of the existing building used as a place of public entertainment, that contains seating in rows or that is set aside as standing room or for dancing must not exceed the fewest of the following at any time while entertainment is being provided:

(i) 300 persons, or

(ii) an average of 1 person per 0.66 square metre of that floor area,

(f) the number of persons occupying any floor area (other than the floor area referred to in paragraph

(e)) in the part of the existingbuilding used as a place of public entertainment must not exceed1 person per square metre of that floor area at any time while entertainment is being provided,

Note.

The floor area of the part of the building used as a place of public entertainment must not exceed 300 square metres where the building concerned comprises licensed premises or a public hall. (See clause 4 of Schedule 3.)

(g) a person must be appointed to ensure that paragraphs (e) and (f) are complied with,

(h) a sign must be displayed in a prominent position in the part of the existing building to be used as a place of public entertainment

that specifies:

(i) the maximum number of persons who are permitted in the building at any one time while entertainment is being provided, calculated in accordance with paragraphs

(e) and

(f), and

(ii) the name, address and telephone number of the council of the area in which the building is located, and

(iii) the name and business telephone number of an owner or manager of the part of the building concerned,

(i) the LA10 noise level emitted while entertainment is being provided (as determined in accordance with Australian Standard

AS 1055.1—1997,  Acoustics—Description and measurement of environmental noise, Part 1: General procedures) must notexceed the ambient background noise level (LA90) in any octave band centre frequency (31.5Hz to 8KHz inclusive) by more than 5dB:

(i) at the boundary of the lot on which any residential accommodation is located, and

(ii) if the existing building is on the same lot as (but not in) a building containing any residential accommodation—on the outside wall of the building containing that

accommodation, and

(iii) if the existing building contains any residential accommodation—within the residential premises concerned.

(2) Subclause (1) (i) (i) does not apply in relation to any boundary of the lot on which the existing building is located unless that boundary is shared with another lot on which residential accommodation is located

On 29 October 2014 the Building Amendment (Live Music) Regulations 2014 were introduced to amend the Building Regulations 2006 in relation to the classification of small live music venues under the Building Code of Australia in the state of Victoria.

The intent of this amendment is to exempt primary purpose live music venues that are at or under 500msq and with a vertical travel of two floors or less from being assessed as a BCA class 9b assembly building for compliance.

 

Small live music venue means the whole or the only part of a Class 6 building that has a rise in storeys of no more than 2—
(a) in which live music entertainment is provided to the public; and
(b) that has a floor area not greater than 500m2.”.

 

The Victorian Building Authority practice note on the operation of the Building Amendment (Live Music) Regulations 2014 is available at

http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/26298/PN-68-2014-Small-Live-Music-Venue-Classification.pdf

The Building Regulations 2006 are available on the Victorian Parliament’s website

http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/static/www.legislation.vic.gov.au-lawtoday.html

A associated notice of their making was published in the Victorian Government Gazette  http://www.gazette.vic.gov.au/gazette/Gazettes2014/GG2014S401.pdf

logo-state-gov-victoria

Protection for live music venues

05 Sep 2014 – From the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) website.

A package of reforms announced today will provide greater protection for live music venues in Victoria.

Under the ‘agent of change’ principal, a new residential development built near an existing live music venue will be responsible for noise mitigation as part of the planning process.

The same principle will apply to a new music venue or a change to an existing venue, which will be responsible for mitigating the impact of their noise on neighbours.

Other planning reforms designed to support live music venues include:

  • Cutting red tape so that live music venues smaller than 500 square metres no longer have to meet the same building code compliance measures as larger venues.
  • A $500,000 Live Music Noise Attenuation Assistance Scheme to assist venues that operate in a heritage listed building or that are not aided by the ‘agent of change’ planning reforms.

These planning reforms effectively balance the needs of the live music industry with those of residents and the broader community.

More information about the Live Music Action Agenda (PDF 132.8 KB) or (DOC 89.0 KB)

Read the media release

Venues exist within a co-regulatory environment across liquor, planning and environmental protection laws. The usual practice is for these provisions to be developed without consideration of how they will interact with the other regulations.

The Live Music Roundtable established by the Victorian State Government brings all these parties together with the live music sector to identify issues and prepare informed policy responses.

This type of co-regulation partnership has precedents in other areas of government nationally, but not for the live music sector.

A similar model would be a most important initiative for other states and territories where recommendations for state law reform to better support the development of the local live music sector have been tabled.  These include the Future of Music in South Australia – Thinkers in Residence Reverb Report by Martin Elbourne, ACT Standing Committee on Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services Inquiry into Live Community Events, and The City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce Action Plan.

With EPA Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries review of the two State Environment Protection Policies for noise underway, as well an evaluation and consideration of venue definitions as the agent-of-change provisions under planning guidelines commences,  The Victorian Live Music Roundtable is being maintained after the 2014 election to ensure that the good work so far to support the Victorian live music sector continues.

Whilst the Building Code of Australia has provisions for constructing residential development to ensure acoustic privacy for internal noise between adjacent dwellings, there are curiously no requirements for residential development to be constructed to reduce noise from external sources.

This issue was investigated in a 2007 report by Bassett Consulting, The External Noise into Residential Apartment Buildings Scoping Study Report

Some State Governments have introduce planning controls for residential development along railway corridors and busy roads to reduce noise, whilst others have introduced development control plans or local overlays requiring acoustic glazing within specific geographic boundaries. These provisions would be unsuitable for entertainment areas in towns and cities as they are rated using dba measurements and not the dbc rating that assesses low frequency noise.

Other areas where noise attenuation in construction has been required is around airports, and in Sydney, Luna Park has an exemption from the noise provisions under environmental protection regulations that otherwise apply to the rest of NSW

In 2005 Brisbane City Council introduced their Valley Music Harmony Plan special entertainment precinct to support the live music scene in Fortitude Valley

In 2014 Wollongong City Council determined that mixed use residential development in the CBD should have appropriate acoustic construction measures for the location and double glazing for acoustic privacy should be required in the entertainment area of the CBD.

By having the reference to ‘bar areas hosting live entertainment’, some consent authorities had considered that the national BCA Assembly Building Definition gave them no latitude but to require theatre level fire safety for any live music use.

This changes the BCA classification of the building from retail BCA Class6 in a hotel or restaurant for example to an Assembly Building Class 9b. The extensive building work required for theatre level compliance will more than likely make independent small-scale entertainment unviable.

The National BCA Assembly Building definition reads as follows – note (c)(i)

 

Assembly building means a building where people may assemble for—

(a) civic, theatrical, social, political or religious purposes including a library, theatre, public hall or place of worship; or

(b) educational purposes in a school, early childhood centre, preschool, or the like; or

(c) entertainment, recreational or sporting purposes including—

(i) a discotheque, nightclub or a bar area of a hotel or motel providing live entertainment or containing a dance floor; or

(ii) a cinema; or

(iii) a sports stadium, sporting or other club; or

(d) transit purposes including a bus station, railway station, airport or ferry terminal.

Assembly Building Definition – NSW Variation

In NSW in 2009 as changes were made to Planning Legislation to encourage more live music and performance, a variation was made for NSW that has created many of the new gigs in small bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs and cafes since then.

Read more about the NSW changes – Planning For Entertainment

The NSW Variation does not have the previous (c)(i) reference.

 

Assembly building means a building where people may assemble for—

(a) civic, theatrical, social, political or religious purposes including a library, theatre, public hall or place of worship; or

(b) educational purposes in a school, early childhood centre, preschool, or the like; or

(c) entertainment, recreational or sporting purposes including—

(i) a cinema; or

(ii) a sports stadium, sporting or other club; or

(iii) transit purposes including a bus station, railway station, airport or ferry terminal.

 

Note also that

The BCA (Section A, General provisions, Part A3 Classification of buildings and structures) dictates that if over 10% percentage of a story of a venue is used for entertainment, the class of the building changes because of its use.  Therefore, the minor use becomes the major use.  This changes the venue from being a Class 6 building (retail, bar, hotel, restaurant) to a Class 9b building (place of assembly such as night club, sports stadium, airport).

In March 2014 The City of Sydney Council unanimously endorsed a Live Music and Performance Action Plan that tabled 60 policies to better support live music in the City, and that are now integrating into the day to day operations of the cultural and regulatory operations of Council.

Chaired by Live Music Office Policy Director John Wardle, the City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce comprised of 10 highly experienced music policy experts from Sydney and interstate, as well as Council cultural, regulatory and youth services staff.  The City of Sydney process immediately informed the establishment of a Live Music Taskforce in Wollongong in 2013, as well as the establishment of a joint Live Music Taskforce from the adjacent Councils of Leichhardt and Marrickville.

There are a list of important references from the Sydney process

Taskforce Web Page

The Lord Mayoral Minute

Terms Of Reference      See Report Appendix

Summary Of Submissions

Fact Sheet

Sydney Live Music Research

Taskforce Action Plan

The City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce Actions are:

  1. Review the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012 to optimise its support for live music and performance by identifying and protecting areas with strong traditions of live music and performance and by supporting areas where urban and cultural amenity can be improved by live music and performance activity
  2. Review City of Sydney planning controls to identify opportunities to streamline approval processes for small-scale and temporary live music and performance activity, including the development of definitions for small to medium-scale live music and performance and consideration of expanded “Exempt and Complying Development”provisions in the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012.
  3. Advocate to the NSW Government to amend the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 to include definitions and provisions for live music and performance.
  4. Establish a live music and performance liaison role that acts as first point of contact for regulatory enquiries and applications in relation to live music and performance.
  5. Develop information guides in multiple formats that provide specific information on the planning requirements and resources available for setting up a temporary or permanent live music or performance venue in the City of Sydney.
  6. Ensure that the review of Standard Conditions of Development Consent is informed by international best practice approaches in supporting local cultural activity and that any changes proposed to the City of Sydney Standard Conditions for Development Consent consider likely financial impacts on the live music and performance sector
  7. Advocate to the NSW Government for legislative reform to remove duplication and inconsistencies in the regulation of noise from live music and performance premises.
  8. Develop clearly defined and publicly available compliance guidelines for enacting compliance measures in response to amenity complaints against live music and performance venues, including consideration of the noise-related development consent conditions applied to the venue being investigated, consideration of order of occupancy, improved criteria for assessing “offensive noise”, processes for liaison staff to be informed of amenity disputes and processes to ensure that appropriate compliance decisions are made in relation to historic or out-dated consent conditions
  9. Ensure that the authority to commence compliance actions against live music and live performance venuesinvolving assessments of “offensive noise”are restricted to appropriate staff who are experienced and trained to assess and determine “offensive noise”, and that formal procedures reflect this.
  10. Regularly review compliance guidelines to ensure that all relevant staff are appropriately trained and informed of any relevant legal developments that impact the regulation of live music and performance.
  11. Implement an education and induction program about the City’s cultural priorities and support for live music for City of Sydney staff responsible for planning assessments, enforcement and compliance matters. This program will consist of training and annual refreshers about sector trends and issues affecting live music in Sydney, as well as the recommendations of this Taskforce and the priorities outlined in Creative City, OPEN Sydney and Sustainable Sydney 2030 documents.
  12. Provide options for alternate dispute resolution about live music and performance in the City of Sydney through the establishment of a formal mediation policy and pilot process that offers free, independent and confidential mediation services for resolving amenity complaints, in collaboration with NSW Police and the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing as appropriate
  13. Develop information guides in multiple formats that provide specific information on the processes, requirements and resources available for setting up a temporary or permanent live music or performance venue in the City of Sydney.
  14. Investigate partnership opportunities for dissemination of nationally relevant information relating to the Building Code of Australia
  15. Develop a pre-lodgement or advisory process (based on the Edinburgh “Temporary Theatre Licence”concept) involving City of Sydney building approvals, planning, health and building, and cultural strategy staff to support the creation of non-traditional and temporary live music and performance venues.
  16. In conjunction with the Victorian Live Music Roundtable, prepare a joint state submission to the Australian Building Codes Board proposing the adjustment of BCA categories and definitions to recognise hybrid-use spaces for cultural  activity.
  17. In conjunction with the Victorian Live Music Roundtable, monitor the impacts of compliance with premises standards on the live music and performance sector, with a view to preparing a joint submission to the 2015 Review of the Premises Standards of the Building Code of Australia.
  18. Co-host a public symposium in partnership with the National Live Music Office in 2014 on the Building Code of Australia and the live music and performance sector. This forum will invite representatives from the Australian Building Codes Board, the City of Sydney, NSW Department of Planning and the creative sector to investigate compliance and affordability for live performance in small to medium-sized venues.
  19. Undertake research into design and construction standards for attenuation of audible low-frequency noise, with a view to implementing new standards within planning controls or conditions of consent.
  20. Advocate to the Australian Building Codes Board for the introduction of an Australian Standard for audible low-frequency noise for residential buildings and work with them to produce guidelines for designing building interiors that address noise occurring below 100 hertz.
  21. Work with the National Live Music Office and APRA|AMCOS to gather data and undertake geographically specific research into alcohol consumption and behaviour patterns at live music and performance venues.
  22. Propose biannual meetings with the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to discuss issues specifically related to the live music and performance sector.
  23. Invite the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to explore ways to align processes, minimise costs and establish clear timeframes for the establishment of new live music and performance venues or for the variation of trading conditions for existing venues.
  24. Invite the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing to develop complementary information resources for licensees that outline rights and responsibilities, pre-emptive and affordable noise attenuation techniques, and advice on developing and maintaining productive relationships with neighbours.
  25. Continue to advocate for greater transparency in the liquor licence decision-making process, including making meetings o the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority open to the public or, preferably, the establishment of a joint City and state government committee to jointly exercise planning and licensing powers in relation to significant applications for licensed premises
  26. Work with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to jointly provide appropriate trading conditions for primary purpose live music and performance venues, including suitable trading hours and proportional security requirements, where supported by the outcomes of the research undertaken as part of action 3.1.1
  27. Continue to advocate for an increase in the allowable capacity for venues with small bar licenses from 60 to 120 people
  28. Advocate to the NSW Government to minimise the negative impacts of the Liquor Amendment Bill 2014 on live music and performance and consider exemptions for primary purpose live music and performance venues in relation to the liquor freeze and liquor licensing saturation management tools.
  29. Advocate to the OLGR for simplification of the process for securing temporary liquor licensing, to assist cultural organisations to access short-term licences more easily and efficiently.
  30. Develop and implement an annual venue satisfaction survey to build a better understanding of the experiences of venue operators with City of Sydney staff and services, explore opportunities for improved service to this sector, and track trends over time.
  31. Establish a “Live Music and Performance ’Network”to meet biannually and include live music and performance venue operators and City of Sydney officers responsible for planning, compliance and cultural policy.
  32. Create an annual reporting process to communicate with the cultural sector and general community about the progressive implementation of the Live Music and Performance Action Plan and its impacts.
  33. Partner with the National Live Music Office in the development of an ongoing localised research framework aimed at measuring the social and cultural role of live music and performance in the City of Sydney.
  34. Require festivals funded by the City of Sydney to submit local content and artist employment data as part of the grant acquittal process.
  35. Contribute funding to an appropriate sector organisation for the establishment of a Music and Performance Program Coordinator role, subject to future Council resolution, to help venues in the City of Sydney local government area identify and implement live music and performance opportunities.
  36. Based on best practice models from other sectors, consider options to develop a financial assistance program that provides incentives to new and existing venues to invest in infrastructure and capital costs associated with live music and performance.
  37. Work with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and Ministry for the Arts, as well as local promoters, major venues and festivals in the City of Sydney local government area to develop new models for supporting the contribution of international visiting artists to the local community.
  38. Work with the Australian Hotels Association, Music NSW or other peak bodies to develop processes by which an increased number of appropriate hotel spaces in hotels and other venues in the City of Sydney can be made available to musicians and other artists for rehearsals
  39. Ensure the City of Sydney’s current and future culture infrastructure plans (including its Integrated Community Facilities Strategy [draft]) acknowledge the importance of music rehearsal spaces and explore opportunities to build rehearsal space into new commercial developments in the City of Sydney
  40. Conduct an audit of a number of City of Sydney community facilities and other properties to determine their suitability as rehearsal spaces, including their suitability for use by school-age musicians and conduct a cost–benefit assessment of implementing higher-level acoustic standards into key facilities.
  41. Amend section 3.3 of the City‘s draft Neighbourhood Parking Policy (“Community and Recreational Facilities”) to “Community, Cultural and Recreational Facilities”and ensure that parking controls adjacent to these facilities allow for turnover that balances the needs of all users
  42. Based on the City of Yarra’s Live Music Venue Parking Permit initiative, conduct a pilot program trialling the use of a permit system which allows musicians and other workers associated with live music and performance to access existing loading zones adjacent to music and performance venues in the LGA for fifteen minutes for the purpose of unloading and loading instruments and equipment.
  43. Advocate to the NSW Government to amend loading zone regulations to provide musicians, performers and technical staff with access to loading zones, irrespective of the vehicle type used
  44. Expand the City of Sydney Youth Services program of events to provide monthly all-ages live music events utilising established venues.
  45. Investigate the creation of a grant program with a total budget of up to $25,000 to provide funding to venues in the City of Sydney local government area for the staging of all-ages live music and performance events.
  46. Review opportunities to equip key City of Sydney hireable community venues with appropriate sound, lighting and seating infrastructure and any required approvals to enhance their capacity as performance venues.
  47. Review hiring policies, prices, facilities and liquor licensing options associated with venues owned by the City of Sydney so that they are optimised to support small-scale live music and performance in Sydney.
  48. Allocate $20,000 matched funding to APRA|AMCOS to support a proposal to help promote live music and performance in Sydney, focused on local artists and local venues.
  49. Ensure that the hiring policies, prices, facilities and licensing options associated with City of Sydney managed outdoor spaces are optimised to support the provision of live music and performance, across small and large scales.
  50. Undertake a review of the City of Sydney Busking Policy to identify ways to simplify the busking requirements. In addition the City will explore opportunities provide opportunitiesto support and promote buskers to the general public, retail operators, land owners and event producers.
  51. Work with neighbouring councils and the NSW Government to help establish a major new outdoor event space for the Sydney area.
  52. Advocate to the NSW Government for greater clarity and consistency in the user-pays policing process, including introducing provisions that take into account the operating history of event proponents.
  53. Develop a collaborative marketing strategy with the live music and performance sector, utilising the City’s own marketing platforms and leveraging its media relationships.
  54. Work with Accessible Arts to gather data on current access standards in City of Sydney venues, and to develop resources and training focused on live music and performance, including advice on low-cost disability access solutions for temporary and non-traditional venues.
  55. Investigate options to support the Australian pilot of a ‘Gig Buddies’program.
  56. Ensure that criteria developed for allocation of City-owned live/work space encourages applications from musicians and performers, subject to the suitability of their practice to the space offered.
  57. Advocate to the NSW Government for the inclusion of musicians and performers in affordable housing programs run in the City of Sydney.
  58. Encourage applications for accommodation in City-owned space from innovative small businesses providing complementary services to the live music and performance industry.
  59. Advocate to the NSW Government to create a dedicated live music and performance community development fund from gaming revenue, separate to existing ClubGRANTS or Unclaimed Winnings funds and including a minimum yearly contribution.