Music industry celebrates implementation of Agent of Change principle

Thursday, 04 Sep 2014

The music industry is thrilled to announce that the State Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has approved amendments to the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning provisions in Victoria to legislate the Agent of Change principle.
The new 52.43 Particular Provision clause will capture not just traditional licensed venues, but registered rehearsal studios. Non-traditional venues such as community halls, record stores and radio performance spaces will also be captured by the clause by local councils adding their venues to a schedule in the clause.
The clause will be effective immediately.
“This is great result for the Victorian music industry,” said Music Victoria CEO, Patrick Donovan. “Like a tight band, the music industry united and negotiated hard to ensure that all of all constituents across the state were captured by this clause. After all, they all combine to make up one of the most vibrant music sectors in the world.”
The government has also committed to reforming the Building Code to reduce red tape for small and medium sized venues, and a $500,000 Live Music Noise Attenuation Assistance Scheme. Details of eligibility for these grants will be released in coming weeks.
The Agent of Change Principle, which puts the responsibility for noise attenuation measures on the “agent of change”, is also recognised in liquor licensing controls after legislation was passed in Parliament last week.
Agent of Change policy references will be included in the revised Planning Policy framework, and a detailed updated practice note will also be introduced.
The music industry commends the government for delivering on its promise to legislate the Agent of Change. We thank members of the Live Music Roundtable, including Music Victoria, SLAM and Fair Go 4 Live Music, and the Department of Justice and Planning for the hard work that has gone into this unprecedented live music reform, which comes after developments including the deregulation of Mixed Ages gigs and a Live Music Best Practice Guide.
But there is still work to be done. The Agent of Change is triggered by new planning permits; it doesn’t apply to someone moving into a residence.
Further protection is required through follow up amendments to the Environmental Protection Authority’s noise standards, known as SEPP N2, which are currently under way.
Music Victoria, which will make its submission public prior to the 15th October deadline, is advocating for two-tiered noise standards, so music can be played louder in cultural clusters than in the leafy suburbs.

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