Updated 10.30am, 15 May, 2020
Noise can be a sensitive topic when discussed by people living in the same home. Let alone when assessing what is reasonable for citywide events
In Western Australia, noise is governed by the Environmental Protection Regulations 1997. The Act's aim is to protect people from unnecessary disturbance from noise.
To support amendments to the Act in 2013, the State Government released the following guidelines:
While the Act is State legislation, event approvals are managed by the relevant local government authority. In East Perth, that is the City of Perth. Every few years, there is a review of the approach to ensure the sustainability of events and cultural activities and the needs of our growing residential population. The City of Perth Chief Executive Officer is delegated to approve outdoor concerts that exceed assigned noise levels
You can have input into the types of events the City approves and supports through its Noise Survey 2020 via the link here: https://engage.perth.wa.gov.au/city-of-perth-noise-survey
There is also a noise forum on the page and the option to nominate where in the City you would like to see more or fewer events and which type.
In tandem with the survey, non-standard venue event approval policies will be repealed. They are already superseded by the 2013 Act amendments and related regulations.
The EPCG Committee supports the strategy to streamline the event approval process and remove redundant policies.
Venues such as The WACA, Supreme Court Gardens and Langley Park, that host more than two events in a year, will still be subject to community consultation requirements, and this survey will further inform City Guidelines on event approvals based on:
the maximum number of concerts permitted in a specified time period,
the maximum volume of concerts,
the permissible concert start and finish times
concert duration limits
community notification requirements
complaint management requirements, and
ongoing community consultation
Mind you, realistically it may be a moot point; East Perth venues from the Tattersalls Lawn Bowls Club to international hotel chains have seen their event business decimated by the impact of COVID-19. Industry pundits predict a minimum two year hiatus before major events make a recovery. Even then, larger international events are likely to be relatively boutique in scale.
According to the International Association of Travel Agents, "The coronavirus crisis will result in semi-permanent damage to the airline industry and may subdue passenger revenues until 2024."
We have a unique opportunity to share our ideas for homegrown events in keeping with their location in terms of theme and scale. And an unprecedented economic crisis for the cultural and event venues of East Perth for which there must be a City strategy.
Managing the two goals is not mutually exclusive and to do so effectively is critical to our collective future.
Please take the opportunity to be heard.