MusicACT logo final-1.png


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.