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No need for small bar blues

Lee Rhiannon 3 Apr 2013

I want to respond to some public comments about a matter to do with my office and a new small bar directly under our floor.

The suggestion that either myself or the Greens are against live music and small bars is far from the truth.

I have a legitimate concern. An acoustic engineer measured the bar noise inside my office at 30 decibels above the accepted noise level for an office. I and my staff have met with the bar owners on a number of occasions, always keen to sort things out amicably.

When we moved in there was a chess shop downstairs with a well insulated ceiling. We didn't notice they were there. But the ceiling was removed before the bar owners took over. Months before the bar began operating I signalled that there was problem as I could hear the conversations of workers downstairs from my office.

It is disappointing that the matter has not been resolved and that some media outlets are keen to paint a picture of conflict.

When I was an MP in NSW parliament I was an enthusiastic supporter of the small bar legislation. I worked closely with live music activist John Wardle and backed the Musicians Union and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in their attempt to foster more performing opportunities.

My position has not changed. I have been working hard to resolve this issue. All we are after is some insulation. We are keen for small bars to flourish.  

My office is in a great part of Sydney in Surry Hills. I have been here for over a year and my staff and I love it. We remain optimistic that we can find a solution with the landlord and the bar owners.


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