Noise caps lifted for live music in Nambour

Friday, 02 Oct 2015

The Live Music Office recently celebrated an important milestone for the live music culture of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with the local Council agreeing to endorse a new 12 month trial noise policy in the Nambour CBD.

Noise restrictions for live music from the Queensland Government remain statewide at 75 decibels inside any venue unless expensive assessment and liquor licence conditions are negotiated (a normal speaking voice is 70 decibels), a policy that exists nowhere else in Australia. Now, relaxed noise restrictions in a clearly demarcated and non residential area will open up the tourism ‘hot spot’ to live music performances and a rebuilding of the night economy if support can be given by the state government. For venues without a liquor licence, no 75db rule is applied.

The decision by the regional Council now aligns noise policy with the earlier creation of designated ‘Hospitality Areas’ identifying evening economy areas in the local government area and may pave the way for adoption of similar trials in other areas of South East Queensland. The 75 decibel rule has been identified as the biggest issue facing live music development in regional Queensland across 18 months of lobbying and consultation by the Live Music Office.

“Whatever the final model for noise restrictions in Nambour looks like, what this decision demonstrates is community recognition of the issue,” said John Wardle of the Live Music Office. “We’ve taken genuine action to bring the 75db policy back to the table with the intent of developing better regulation for live music and performance in Queensland.”   

“A further action from the motion passed by Council is to now table the 75db rule with the South East Queensland Council of Mayors that represents the interests of the one in 7 Australians who live in this area, the nation's fastest growing region.”  

As reported in the local Sunshine Coast Daily, Elissa Higgins, owner of Nambour's Shake It Up Music for the past ten years, said she believed the trial would be a boost for the live music scene on the Coast. She said, "It would be great if there was more live music. We've got such a wide variety of musicians... It could create a real vibe in Nambour. There's a lot more little venues and places opening up here now."

A representative of Council said the plan was to try to garner wider support for the trial program before applying to the State Government for permission to run it permanently.

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