Sawyers Valley pub hit with noise complaints over acoustic soloist

Ryan Brennan is the Venue Manager at the Tavern at Sawyers Valley. Photo: David Baylis
Ryan Brennan is the Venue Manager at the Tavern at Sawyers Valley. Photo: David Baylis

THE co-owner of Sawyers Valley Tavern are supporting extending reforms to introduce better protection for established pubs and live music venues who are the subject of noise complaints from residents.

Venue manager Ryan Brennan said the 136-year-old pub had been hit with consistent noise complaints since re-opening in January.

“People buying next to a long-standing venue, even in a semi-rural setting, and complaining about pub noise given the amount of trucks using Great Eastern Highway is a bit of a joke,” he said.

“We have done our own noise meter checks and the levels are no higher than peak hour traffic and most of the time are less.”

Mr Brennan said the complaints made to the Shire of Mundaring had prevented the venue from hosting live music over winter.

“We have a purpose-built amphitheatre for live music which has been used for that purpose for a long time,” he said.

“Because of complaints over bands performing we now have an acoustic soloist performing on Sundays yet we are still receiving complaints.

“We have spoken to all the neighbours who say they are fine with the music and the council won’t tell us who is complaining, so it is impossible to potentially change the music set up to minimise the sound impact on the resident.”

Shire acting chief executive Mark Luzi said one person was behind the multiple complaints.

“Following the complaint in January, recordings were taken and the Tavern was asked to put measures in place to reduce the noise,” he said.

“No complaints were received between late February and Father’s Day on the first weekend of September.

“The case was then reopened following alleged excessive music noise on Father’s Day.”

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said if the rollout of the Northbridge reforms was successful, the changes may be expanded to other areas.

“The proposed reforms seek to remove regulations that unfairly penalise entertainment venues – many of which pre-date surrounding residential developments – with onerous retrospective noise mitigation requirements,” she said.

“The planned changes will also deliver greater protection for residents who wish to move in to the area by ensuring noise is well managed, developments are well designed and buyers are well informed.”

Mr Brennan said he also supported the agent of change principles where the responsibility of noise mitigation falls to a new development and not existing venues and residents.

“This has been introduced in Victoria where the rights of existing music venues are protected from new residents,” he said.

“I doubt anyone living around the tavern was living there prior to 1882.”

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