The live music scene is essential to Canberra’s development as a creative, liveable metropolitan city. If well managed, entertainment venues can thrive harmoniously with residents and visitors.

In 2016, the Urban Sounds Discussion Paper invited the community and related industries to consider how the planning framework can cater for everyday noise from restaurants, licensed premises, music venues and one-off events in mixed-use areas (where residences are located together with businesses, entertainment venues and services).

The aim was to seek input on how we can balance the needs of different users and to encourage vibrancy in our city while recognising the impacts of noise on residents.

See the feedback from the 2016 consultation:

Following the outcomes of the 2016 Discussion Paper and engagement, a number of actions have already been implemented or are underway:

  • A new interactive map details the noise zones and standards that apply in those zones.
  • A noise portal on the Access Canberra website has improved the information available to the public and commercial operators about noise standards and how noise can be managed.
  • A new fact sheet advises commercial operators to get professional acoustic advice before establishing their business. This will help them mitigate noise.
  • A new fact sheet advises prospective residents what to consider when moving into a mixed-use area, including whether lively mixed-use areas are compatible with their lifestyle and amenity expectations.
  • Noise management provisions are now included in Crown lease and development approval conditions where development may include potentially noisy uses.
  • Work is underway to change policy and legislation to better manage mixed-use buildings to address the needs of all concerned including residents and businesses.
  • Preliminary work has begun to consider how special entertainment precincts can be identified. This work will continue through the ACT Planning Review.