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Further to the recommendations of Cool Little Capital: Live Music Action Plan (2015), and learning from planning changes across Australia, MusicACT recommends the ACT Government adopt three new planning zones to cohabitate active and peaceful ways of life. Otherwise urban development will continue to silence our city. 

1. Shared Zones

  1. Purpose: to allow cultural activity in mixed-use precincts with a residential focus.

  2. Planning and regulatory controls, can include but are not limited to:

    1. Building design features required to reduce the impact of sound e.g., double glazing, insulation and thermal-related treatments for multiple benefits

    2. Sound levels measured behind closed windows and doors during the afternoon and evening, but not at other times

    3. Permissible sound standards to reference ambient levels

  3. Shared Zones locations can include, but are not limited to:

    1. NewActon Precinct, City

    2. Alinga Street, City

    3. Childers Street, City

    4. Cape Street, Dickson

    5. Lonsdale Street, Braddon

    6. Cape Street, Dickson

    7. Each Town Centre, to be defined

2. Entertainment Zones

  1. Purpose: to facilitate the coexistence of music venues, active public realm, residences, hotels and offices.

  2. Planning and regulatory controls:

    1. Significant sound insulation in all commercial, residential and hotel buildings

    2. Sound to be measured inside closed windows and doors at all times

    3. Internal sound level should be quiet and relatively equal to ambient sounds (e.g. roads, air conditioning etc)

    4. Initial compliance testing can be done by police officers and by the EPA after multiple complaints

    5. No outdoor compliance levels – sound law enforcement would remain complaints-based (i.e. only a problem upon complaint) and complaints can only come from inside tenancies (i.e. If you don’t like it, shut your window. If it’s still audible, then you may complain.)

  3. Entertainment Zone locations can include, but are not limited to:

    1. Garema Place, Bunda Street and Sydney Building

    2. Mitchell

    3. Belconnen trades and light industrial precinct around The Basement music venue

3. Festival Zones

  1. Purpose: to facilitate large events in beautiful outdoor environments.

  2. Planning and regulatory controls:

    1. Sound measurement at the nearest suburb according to its zone (e.g. residential zones should remain quiet), no limit inside the Festival Zone.

    2. No residential permitted, unless residents are not able to make sound complaints

  3. Festival zone locations may include:

    1. Parts of Majura, where sound is absorbed by Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura

    2. Possibly The Arboretum

Without sufficient announcements about these zones from the ACT Planning Ministry, protests like Let Music Live will continue so that music is not silenced by new buildings.

Cool Little Capital - ACT Live Music Action Plan

Cool Little Capital - ACT Live Music Action Plan

MusicACT and the Live Music Office were asked by the former ACT Attorney-General to report on policy changes to grow the music and performance industries. The result, Cool Little Capital, is a 25 point action plan touching on issues across the whole of government. 

Canberra has an established and growing live music sector and increasing cultural industries. The current groundswell in national and international media on Canberra’s liveability and ‘cool’ factor highlights an increasingly vibrant local culture.

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MusicACT Launch Professional Development Program

With the support from ArtsACT, MusicACT have launched a music industry professional development program which the aims to amplify the ACT music scene. MusicACT offers three professional development streams:

  1. Kickstart 101: Workshops that provide the tools to “Kickstart” music careers thanks to a series of structured workshops led by music industry experts and other leading professionals.

  2. MusicChats: Featuring storytelling and lively interactive panel discussions with invited music industry leaders and experts who have paid their dues and have got something important to share with ACT music industry.

  3. Fuelling Creativity: Specialist creative workshops that open up and reveal the creative process by sharing and leveraging the experience of great Australian and ACT creative leaders, organisations and technology.

MusicACT also joins with the local music industry and national partners to present events on leading music industry issues, we will celebrate music industry success and wherever we can support and showcase musicians and their creativity.