In April 2014 The Wollongong Live Music Taskforce Action Plan was passed by Wollongong City Council, along with an associated Cultural Plan and Evening Economy Strategy.

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Wollongong Live Music Taskforce Report

A number of important strategic outcomes have already eventuated adjacent to the Wollongong Live Music Taskforce process, with Council establishing a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) unit in development assessment control to give guidance at startup with planning process and requirements for creative businesses – as well as acoustic privacy measures (soundproofing) for the old Oxford Tavern site mixed use DA on Corrimal St in the Wollongong CBD. This has been a residential DA that has paralleled the Wollongong Taskforce, on the site of an iconic old live music venue,

The double glazing from the facades specification is as follows:

Glazing for Acoustic requirement – Double glazing external sliding doors and windows:

a. 6mm glazing –100mm air gap –6 mm glazing set in a sealed metal or timber frame to achieve the sound insulation of a window and sliding door system (Rw40 –45).

b.The apartments from 1st/2nd floor to 7th floor window and sliding door system should achieve sound insulation (Rw43 –45).

c. The apartments from 8thfloor and above window and sliding door system should achieve sound insulation (Rw40–45).

d. Frames should be well sealed internally and externally to provide acoustic, thermal and moisture protection. Awning windows are preferred to sliding windows as they are able to achieve a positive compression seal.

e. The air gap between the two panes should be at least 100mm that is good for reducing traffic and other low frequency noise such as music from surrounding night clubs


Now fully passed by Council,  The Wollongong Live Music Taskforce Actions are:

  1. That Council initiates a review of the City planning controls to optimise their support for live music and performance by identifying and protecting areas with strong traditions of live music and performance venues and activity and by supporting areas where urban and cultural amenity can be improved by live music and performance venues and activity; as well as to support the findings of the associated Cultural Plan and Evening Economy Strategy and Action Plan.
  2. Develop a venue matrix of building stock and available sites for live music events through a staged process, identifying criteria including cost, availability, and suitability/fit for purpose aspects.
  3. Promote Wollongong as a safe city through positive images, visible policing, and making available data on trends in public safety and crime.
  4. Align Council’s information resources and access where relevant across planning, economic development and culture to support the development of live music in Wollongong.
  5. Resource the development assessment team to help deliver improved information and guidance for proponents of live music/performance throughout the application process.
  6. Investigate opportunities for hosting an information session for the live music sector to advise the community on how to establish a live music venue informed by the City of Sydney Live Music 101 Small Business Seminars Model.
  7. Investigate partnership opportunities with the City of Sydney for dissemination of relevant information prepared from their Live Music and Live Performance Action Plan; including information guides that provide specific information on the process requirements and resources available for setting up a temporary or permanent live music or performance venue and that relate to the Building Code of Australia.
  8. That the City of Wollongong encourages appropriate trading conditions to support the viability and development of live music venues, and that licensing applications and variations to trading conditions are considered with regard to the cultural and economic development of the city.
  9. Encourage live music venues and small bars to participate in the Wollongong Liquor Accord, and to maintain good working relationships with Wollongong and Lake Illawarra Police.
  10. Ensure that comprehensive data on public safety and crime statistics and trends are available to Council and venues to ensure evidence-based decisions are made when determining DA and licensing conditions for live music premises.
  11. Review City of Wollongong planning controls to identify opportunities to streamline approval processes for small-scale and temporary live music and performance activity, including development of definitions for small- to medium-scale live music and performance and consideration of expanded “Exempt and Complying Development”provisions in the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan 2009.
  12. Review Standard Conditions of Development Consent to avoid inadvertent operating restrictions or inconsistencies eg with hours of operation or liquor licensing requirements.
  13. Ensure adequate information resources about responsibilities and land use character are available to venues and residents to pre-empt amenity complaints.
  14. Proposed residential development in mixed use evening economy areas is to incorporate relevant acoustic and/or design measures to address noise amenity impacts.
  15. Following review of planning controls consider providing S149 certificate notations to alert purchasers to issues that include noise, later trading businesses, traffic, events and increased visitation etc. of locations in the city with live music and evening economy character.
  16. That a protocol is prepared for Council Cultural and Economic Development staff to be advised by Planning and Building officers of any Development Application for or variation of consent or licensing conditions of a live music venue as an advisory pathway.
  17. That a program about the City’s cultural priorities and support for live music is implemented for City of Wollongong staff responsible for planning assessments,enforcement and compliance matters. This program could consist of training and annual refreshers about sector trends and issues affecting live music in Wollongong and NSW, as well as the recommendations of this Taskforce and the priorities outlined in associated Cultural Plan and Evening Economy Strategy and Action Plan
  18. Investigate the pre-lodgement process recommended by the City of Sydney Live Music and Live Performance Taskforce Action Plan (based on the Edinburgh ‘Temporary Theatre Licence’concept) as it is developed further by the City of Sydney through involving City of Wollongong building approval, planning, health and building and cultural staff to support the creation of non-traditional and temporary live music and performance venues.
  19. Encourage opportunities for the live music and creative sector in future development of industrial zones as these areas transition in use indexed to the future of heavy industry in the area.
  20. That Council in partnership with the Wollongong and Lake Illawarra Local Area Police Commands develop clearly defined and publicly available enforcement compliance guidelines for enacting enforcement compliance measures in response to amenity complaints against live music and performance venues.
  21. Encourage independent mediation between venues and residents in the case of an amenity dispute.
  22. That community safety meetings between Council and Wollongong and Lake Illawarra Police also identify any noise complaints against live music venues and events.
  23. Investigate measures to ensure that the authority to commence enforcement measures against live music venues in response to complaints under the POEO Act are restricted to appropriate staff experienced and trained to assess and determine ‘offensive noise’.
  24. Ensure adequate information resources about responsibilities and land use character are available to venues and residents to pre-empt amenity complaints.
  25. That a protocol is prepared for Council Cultural and Economic Development staff to be advised of any amenity complaints against live music venues as an advisory pathway.
  26. Review hiring policies, prices, facilities and licensing options associated with City of Wollongong owned venues and spaces so that they are optimised to support live music events.
  27. Consideration is given to include live music and performance capacity in the development of an Arts Precinct Master Plan.
  28. Identify and develop a designated, multi-day festival site within the region.
  29. Investigate and encourage expressions of interest from major contemporary music festivals for an event in Wollongong.
  30. Investigate the possibility of the development and promotion of a summer music series with regional Councils.
  31. Investigate the possibility of a program of live music events at swimming pools in summer as part of the Summer of Fun.
  32. That Council supports a noise mapping study of the city centre and suburban evening economy areas to identify areas with higher background noise levels and plan accordingly.
  33. That Council encourages further research into mapping the cultural and economic contribution of live music to the City of Wollongong.
  34. Investigate opportunities for improved transport at night.
  35. Investigate loading conditions to ensure better access for musicians to live music venues.
  36. Council promotes live music venues and events through the Cultural Newsletter.
  37. Investigate the possibility of a stand-alone live music communication through Wollongong Council.
  38. Encourage the sector to pro-actively contribute to a comprehensive gig guide and encourage venues to routinely log their events in the Destination Wollongong Gig Guide.
  39. Ensure that live music in Wollongong, through events, festivals, institutions and venues, is promoted beyond the residents of Wollongong through Destination Wollongong.
  40. Make representation to Destination NSW to optimise the capability of their events portal to enhance its function as a gig guide for the live music sector.
  41. Wollongong City Council Cultural Reference Group includes a representative from the Live Music Taskforce.
  42. Encourage the music sector to meet regularly at a live music venue to investigate issues facing the live music scene in Wollongong