Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 August 2011) . . Page.. 3297 ..
the rich, diverse and vibrant culture. Live music is particularly important to Canberra’s young people in terms of artistic development and social networking and entertaining.
I turn to the investigation of an extension of night-time noise limits. Actual noise or community perceptions of noise-related issues have been raised as key barriers to live music production. While higher noise limits exist during the day, lower noise limits apply from 10 pm. However, as Canberra becomes a more mature city with a wide variety of entertainment, people will be looking to more opportunities and 10 pm may no longer be a realistic time to revert to lower noise levels.
The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate is responsible for reviewing the noise levels as provided for in the EPA 1997 and will, as a priority, consider the extension of the 60dB(A) noise limits in the Civic centre and other major centres until midnight on Saturday nights. Adequate soundproofing measures, in particular for buildings which have changed their original purpose and which have been refurbished, such as residential apartments, have been identified as an issue.
On the creation of a website of public buildings suitable for use as live music venues, we note that considerable media attention has been given to the lack of suitable music venues in the ACT for the needs of the contemporary live music industry. While there are limited dedicated live music venues in Canberra, the city has a large number of government and community-owned facilities which are suitable for live music. The development of a music venue website will provide information to the community on a wide range of venues which could be suitable. The government will work with the community music sector to develop the website, and I have recently approved funding for this website to be developed.
On the consideration of suitability of new or refurbishing community facilities, we note that appropriate community facilities are particularly important in providing low-cost, accessible venues for performance by young and emerging artists. Community facilities also provide a valuable rehearsal space for many musical activities. Minimal modifications to building plans will be required to make facilities suitable for live performance.
On the provision of information for people wishing to stage live music, we note that there are a number of sources of information available to venues and organisations wishing to host live music. However, there is no consolidated information, and some of the existing information is not specific to live music. We are looking to consolidate this into a single document and the government will work with the music industry to develop the information package. Again, I have recently approved funding for this website to be developed.
These short to medium-term strategies will allow the government to make a significant impact on the reduction of barriers for the production of live music in the ACT and build on the extensive work undertaken by the standing committee’s inquiry into live music events. The development of the website and a comprehensive consolidated information access point, plus my commitment to provide a submission through the review of the EPA promoting flexibility across town and group centres for live music, I think, is a good way forward for the live music industry here in the ACT.