Music in your restaurant or bar
Once you’ve lined up the music (and paid for it), it’s critical to keep the volume right.
Stuff that gets in the way
- Planning permits and liquor licences often state that a business is not allowed to play music above background levels. They’ll probably refer to the State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) No. N-2
- Environment Protection Act and “nuisance” under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act
- Residents complaining to the police or the local council. Police popping around anyway. EPA inspectors or the council coming with a sound meter.
Following a report, police have power to instruct a venue to abate any entertainment noise after midnight. That direction stays in force until 8am.
How Whites Legal can help:
- Developing policies and systems to deal with complaints
- Helping you deal with council, the police or the EPA
- Defending you in proceedings from noise related breaches
Get on the front foot
Keeping It In The Mix from Department of Culture and the Arts in WA has hints on working with the community to reduce noise complaints. Some key takeaways:
- Get to know the locals. Invite them in. Become part of the community.
- Give your after-hours contact details to residents, local council, police and staff. Better to be able to deal with the situation immediately. Same goes for your managers’ contact details.
- Handle complaints seriously and courteously. You can expect the resident to be pretty pissed off. Don’t make it worse.
- Keep a written record of those complaints. Who made them and when at a minimum. Keep that in a central area where you or your managers can pull it out quickly.
- Make sure all of your employees at any level know how to deal with a complaint, even if that ‘dealing’ is to refer it to you or your duty manager.
- Get all of your staff involved. Make it part of your staff training. Debrief when something happens. Empowering them will help deal with the problem if it comes up again.