Turn It Up: Nambour's Relaxed Noise Limits Plan Gains Support Of Mayoral Council

16 February 2016 | 3:14 pm | Staff Writer

A 12-month noise-restriction trial program is gathering steam on the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast's live-music prospects have received a healthy shot in the arm from the South-east Queensland Council Of Mayors, who have lent their support to a trial program in Nambour that would see noise restrictions for live venues be relaxed substantially.

The Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance proposed the trial back in September, with the program planned to last 12 months and see venue noise limits inside the town's zoned Hospitality Area be raised from 75 decibels (about as loud as your average vacuum cleaner) to the maximum allowable level on its fringes in order to facilitate a broader scope of live-music options within its borders.

As Sunshine Coast Daily reports, the proposed trial has since gained the support of both Sunshine Coast councillors and the mayoral council but is still hoping for support from Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath, as well as necessary ultimate approval from the Office of Liquor & Gaming.

Speaking to Sunshine Coast Daily, Live Music Office policy director John Wardle explained that the support of the South-east Queensland Council Of Mayors was crucial to the program's likelihood of gaining favour with the state government.

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"This is an important precedent for regional Queensland and should be an inspiration to other areas where land use conflict is resulting in a loss of jobs for artists," he said. "[Nambour] would become a nurturing ground for Queensland musical talent."

The main point of contention surrounding the proposal is its connection to licensed venues inside the Hospitality Area, rather than pursuing the establishment of an entertainment precinct, a move supported by Sunshine Coast Music Council spokesman Kel Johnston. However, divisional councillor Greg Rogerson advised the paper that keeping the program within the existing Hospitality Area would prevent a "mudd[ying]" of the council's responsibilities.

Even if the proposed trial does gain the support of the state government, the venues it will affect face further potential problems of their own, should long-debated reforms to the state's lockout and alcohol-service legislation — championed by D'Ath and state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk — pass in parliament this week.