The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is working with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) to progress reforms to provide certainty for entertainment venues and enhanced protections for new residential development in entertainment precincts.
The proposed reforms are aimed at balancing the competing needs of entertainment venues, other businesses and residents in busy places such as Northbridge.
The special entertainment precinct reform includes:
- a Western Australian Planning Commission position statement on special entertainment precincts in WA
- proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 to establish provisions for entertainment venues in approved special entertainment precincts to emit music noise in excess of the assigned (prescribed) levels. The consultation paper Managing amplified music noise in entertainment precincts provided a number of reform options
- a planning scheme amendment to City Planning Scheme No.2, initiated by the City of Perth, which identifies Northbridge as a special entertainment precinct.
On 13 December 2022, the City of Perth Council voted to proceed with Amendment No. 41 to City Planning Scheme No. 2, with modifications. DWER will work with DPLH to assist the Western Australian Planning Commission in its consideration of the planning scheme amendment.
In 2018, DPLH, on behalf of the Western Australian Planning Commission, and DWER prepared a joint discussion paper. This paper, Planning for Entertainment Noise in the Northbridge Area: Public consultation paper, outlined proposed reforms that address the issue of entertainment noise impacts in the Northbridge mixed-use entertainment precinct.
Technical reportsShow more
To inform the decision-making process, we engaged acoustic consultants to produce the following technical reports on Northbridge noise levels, building attenuation and modelled noise impacts for various scenarios:
Low Frequency Music Noise Prediction - Northbridge Entertainment Precinct by Lloyd George Acoustics
Northbridge noise monitoring report by Lloyd George Acoustics
Northbridge residential building attenuation report by Gabriels Hearne Farrell
Frequently asked questionsShow more
What is the aim of the Northbridge special entertainment precinct reform?
The reform aims to manage music noise in busy places, such as Northbridge, to provide certainty for entertainment venues and enhanced protections for new residential development in special entertainment precincts.
What is the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s role in the reforms?
The City of Perth Council voted to amend its City Planning Scheme No. 2 to create a special control area to facilitate the creation of the Northbridge Special Entertainment Precinct.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is working with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to progress the reforms.
Music noise is regulated under the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997, which are administered by DWER and by local governments under delegation. Amendments are being developed by DWER to these regulations to support these reforms.
Has DWER undertaken stakeholder consultation?
In 2018, DPLH, on behalf of the Western Australian Planning Commission, and DWER prepared a joint discussion paper entitled Planning for Entertainment Noise in the Northbridge Area: Public consultation paper. The paper was available for an eight-week public comment period and 64 submissions were received.
In late 2019, DWER released a consultation paper on Managing amplified music noise in entertainment precincts for a 12-week public comment period and 70 submissions were received.
DWER, DPLH and the City of Perth have conducted several information sessions and workshops with stakeholders. These discussions, as well as feedback from DWER’s consultation papers, will inform the reforms and amendments to the Noise Regulations. These amendments will be made once the WAPC decides on the City’s scheme amendment.
What acoustic studies or noise modelling have been undertaken in Northbridge?
A total of 15 technical studies, measurements or reviews commissioned by the City of Perth or DWER have been undertaken in Northbridge between 2012 and 2022.
Acoustic modelling has been undertaken including to characterise the ambient noise levels of entertainment venues in Northbridge, to model different scenarios to assist in identifying the most appropriate boundary and noise levels, and to examine the attenuation of noise from Northbridge venues. Three technical reports are available below.
When do these reforms commence?
The Northbridge special entertainment precinct reforms will commence after the main components of the reforms are complete, including gazettal of the amendments to the Noise Regulations and gazettal of the City of Perth’s Amendment No. 41 to City Planning Scheme No. 2. This is anticipated to occur in mid to late 2023.