Entertainment precincts will deliver for our ‘Cool Little Capital’

The ACT Greens have today called on the Government to accelerate its efforts to deliver designated entertainment precincts in the Territory.

 “We know the Government is committed to supporting live music in the ACT and shares our passion for a strong, robust arts scene,” Greens spokesperson for Arts and Culture Caroline Le Couteur said.

“However, the Government needs to make real headway on the growing need for entertainment precincts and environmental noise dampening—particularly given the rate of new apartment blocks going up around the city, this should be a priority.

“Canberra’s music and events culture has evolved organically, with entertainment venues popping up in the city, in town centres and at local shops. As the city is densifying, there is increasing conflict between residents and the noise from entertainment venues.

“The Greens have been pushing for the government to create designated entertainment precincts in our planning zones to help settle some of these issues.

“We are still awaiting the Government’s response to MusicACT’s 2015 Cool Little Capital Action Plan and outcomes from the Urban Sounds discussion paper from 2016, which were both expected by the end of last year.

“We are concerned about the delays in actioning these issues, as these reasonable and simple proposals would transform our live music economy and support our local artists – not just large-scale music events.

“The opportunities are certainly there to ensure our planning and building laws help to make Canberra a truly ‘cool’ capital, for everyone - not just for the bigger, international events.

“For example, we have had considerable policy changes over the last twelve months on urban renewal, from establishing the CRA to the Woden and Weston Territory Plan Variations. Despite community calls, we are disappointed that the Government has not used these opportunities to provide for entertainment precincts through these processes.

“I look forward to the Government not only releasing this reform package this year, but making real progress on delivering entertainment precincts, in step with our Canberra community,” Ms Le Couteur added.

The ACT Greens took a clear commitment to the 2016 election

  • We committed $100,000 to fund the policy work needed to establish entertainment precincts and a major community consultation programme to accompany it.
  • We committed to providing warnings to new residents moving into entertainment precincts about the higher noise levels they should expect at night, and to require buildings in the precincts, both existing and new, to meet higher acoustic and noise standards.
  • We committed to legislating for the order of occupancy principle to protect existing venues from complaints that might arise from encroaching residential developments.