Sydney Opera House Slapped With Hefty Fine For Being Loud

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Sydney Opera House Slapped With Hefty Fine For Being Loud

Today in “news that would be absolutely unacceptable anywhere else but is sadly completely expected here in Australia” – The Opera House has been fined $15k for violating noise restrictions.

NSW Planning and Environment slapped them with the fine yesterday – the highest possible for noise based offences – citing numerous complaints about Florence and the Machine’s four forecourt shows in November of 2015.

An Opera House spokesperson has come out to address the incidents, explaining that ““In any concert levels are adjusted throughout in an attempt to comply with sound limits while delivering the best possible audience experience. In this instance, the right balance was not achieved. The sound conditions set in 2004 under the original forecourt DA were very difficult to monitor and ­manage.”

While the extra noise surely wouldn’t have been a problem for punters at the shows, especially considering some very mixed reviews of sound at Tame Impala’s forecourt shows there in the exact same month, this fine is without a doubt as the result of complaints by cranky neighbours. As of late, there seems to be a never ending flow of these kinds of stories, with most ending in venues being fined or even closing down. While the usual response has and always will be “don’t move near a live music venue if you don’t like the idea of hearing live music”, or alternatively “can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen” – it just keeps happening. One of the most notable of these kinds of stories over the last year was residents of “the Toaster”, some of Sydney’s most prime real estate situated right next to the Opera House and overlooking Circular Quay, circulating a document they called The Trashing of the Opera House to a number of different government agencies. With that in mind, we can attribute this fine partially to their bizarre crusade.

It goes without saying that Sydney’s nightlife and live music scene has been struggling these last few years. Stories like these are making it more and more apparent that the potential loss of such a culture is of no concern to the people in charge. To think that Australia’s most iconic venue, one of the sights that this country is known for internationally, has been slapped with a fine all because a few complaining rich as f**k neighbours had to turn up their hearing aids a little is absolutely disgusting. When advertisements for travelling Australia are shown overseas to attract tourists, we should be showing a disclaimer before images of The Opera House just to clarify that while our government is very happy to parade it around, The Opera House is being used and abused.

With all that said, there’s plenty that can be done. Be vocal on social media, in person, and attend rallies at any point you can. Follow along with Keep Sydney Open and make your voice heard. Make it so loud we get a noise complaint.


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