Melbourne Floating Nightclub Owner Suing Council After Being 'Blindsided'

21 December 2023 | 1:09 pm | Jessie Lynch

"We are on the brink of losing everything but we will continue to fight."


ATET (Facebook)

The owner of the popular Melbourne floating nightclub venue ATET is suing the City of Melbourne and Development Victoria, claiming both their actions led to the demise of his business.

It comes following ongoing drama after the venue owners were left in “complete shock” when their permit was cancelled by the City of Melbourne back in June.

Despite the initial support from the council, the situation took a turn for the worse following noise complaints from local residents.

ATET has commenced legal proceedings against City of Melbourne and Development Victoria in the Supreme Court of Victoria. You can show your support by signing the petition → #saveatet

Posted by ATET on Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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In response, owner Jake Hughes went above and beyond to mitigate the issue, installing a noise limiter and reducing the volume even more than requested by the council. He also proposed innovative solutions, such as encasing the entire venue in acoustic glass to achieve complete soundproofing and relocating the nightclub 250 meters away.

The woes for ATET did not end there. In February, a fire partially destroyed the 570-square-meter barge, causing substantial financial damage. Despite these setbacks, the club was forced to close just eight months after its grand opening in October 2022, despite initial support from Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

Hughes now says the closure of the family-owned business has them facing the prospect of bankruptcy and losing their home. He also claimed the council has refused to negotiate on the matter.

"We are on the brink of losing everything but we will continue to fight to save ATET and stop this happening to other businesses," he said.

"How is it possible for the council to be allowed to shut down a compliant business?“

He continued, "We've done everything we possibly could to resolve the issues, but council has not been willing to work with us and we have been left with no choice but to seek justice in court.”

"We have done everything the council has ever asked of us and have been repeatedly blindsided by their actions not matching their words.”

"We are shocked at how unprofessional some of their behaviour has been."

When asked, City of Melbourne declined to comment on the matter, while Development Victoria has been contacted for comment.