How the peace was kept successfully - a case study
The How to Keep the Peace story provides tips on minimising noise complaints by looking at a set of formal procedures including six key steps to getting a matter resolved. OLGR follows-up with this positive narrative that led to a win for a licensed venue operating on Sydney's northern beaches, and a win for a local resident who followed a standard complaint procedure.
How the peace was kept ... successfully
Good will, common sense and an ability to cut through red tape mean the clientele of Mona Vale's Social Club enjoy the diverse services provided by their local venue, while the venue's neighbours are benefiting from its improved ambience.
Mrs Venita Mayne noticed the noise rising through the floor of her unit from the club beneath. "It was so loud I had to turn my television to full volume to hear it," Mrs Mayne said.
Owen Rogerson (L) of the OLGR with Ryan Kennewell at the Social Club Mona Vale.
Mrs Mayne began the formal complaint process by writing to the club manager. She began corresponding with the OLGR, and followed the advice by drawing up a petition and circulating it to other aggrieved parties.
"I've got nothing but praise and admiration for the entire process. I am so glad I came to OLGR for advice because the noise was not only affecting me but the residents of the 18 units.
"In all, 16 people signed the petition and as a result of the mediation, everyone is now happy," she said.
Mrs Mayne said the mediation process involved getting together with the club manager and the people affected by the noise. "No one was looking forward to the meeting."
"We expected it to be tense and we also knew anything adverse would affect the manager of the club who is simply out to make a living. I can only offer my congratulations on how the matter was resolved, and the personal touch provided by Owen Rogerson was much better than filling out reams of forms," she said.
Club manager Ryan Kennewell quickly realised the negative impact of the noise being generated. "The first recommendation was to hire a sound engineer to test and measure levels being made by the amplified music," he said.
"But this is an expensive exercise, which I couldn't afford. We came up with an idea to actually change the scope of the business, and now a much better clientele is using our services."
Old school bar
"I've noticed in the last few weeks we've had an increase in turnover because we changed the atmosphere from a venue providing loud entertainment to an "old school bar" playing softer music, which in turn allows people to chat and enjoy themselves," he said.
"Our clients seem much happier since the change, and this is largely due to Owen Rogerson of OLGR who managed to cut through red tape, make some sensible suggestions and ultimately come up with a resolution."
"It is much better to seek mediation through the OLGR first."
"I think it helped having Owen. He was a great help and gave us a lot of tips," Mr Kennewell said.
Most matters can be resolved without recourse to a more formal dispute process. A formal decision on this matter was made by the Executive Director of OLGR which reflected the positive cooperation of the parties involved.
Note: Restrictions on noise emissions, trading hours, the sale and supply of alcohol, as well as mandatory security and liquor membership are conditions which may be imposed on a liquor license. An aggrieved party can apply to ILGA to have the decision reviewed.
More online resources
- How to Keep the Peace – tips for licensees to avoid noise complaints
- Disturbance complaints – a factsheet detailing the complaints process
- Dealing with disturbance concerns from local residents and businesses – a guide for residents and licensees to resolve disturbance complaints
- Sound Advice – a guide for licensees to help reduce the risk of noise disturbance
- Footpath Strategy – managing pedestrian movement on footpaths around licensed venues.