New Procedures for discussion
A standard worksheet is developed, detailing procedures and Information Booklet/Website with relevant information from EPA, The Department of Justice and the Victorian Privacy Commissioner concerning legal rights and obligations.
1) The complainant required to initiate amicable and reasonable contact and a possible amicable arrangement before any Council can become involved (saving much time and rate payer’s money)
2) If unsuccessful, a second step to initiate a meeting with a Qualified Council Mediator present.
3) The Council’s representative thoroughly checks the complaints for possible inaccuracies, vexatious or pernicious claims in accordance with the legal rights of all parties concerned.
4) Record keeping of alleged noise nuisance times only being requested by a Council after due process is unsuccessful, with reportage by a complainant accompanied with a statutory declaration ... and subject to a complete legal check and consultation with the Victorian Privacy Commissioner regarding Invasion of Privacy and Harassment Issues.
5) The protection of a students right to practice a musical instrument and the Homed-based business’ right to continue operation without continuing harassment if found not to be a nuisance.
(The issuing of an official letter to the student or business.)
6) Letters warning of fines only sent as a last resort after continuing noise nuisance is proven with decibel reading meters operated by a qualified representative.
7) Fines to be reviewed and musical students under 18 years not to be treated in the same manner as “business noise” i.e. The clear distinction between “noise” and “music practice”, and relevant changes in procedures as to this distinction.
8) “First Occupancy Rights” recognised as applied to Music students and Home-based Business Operators.
Measures to implement rational and effective solutions to neighbourhood noise is not a hard task. Adopting an approach utilising existing procedures used by the EPA and the Department of Justice would be a major step forward in amicably resolving disputes as well as advice from the Victorian Privacy Commissioner in regard to any “record keeping”.
The implementation of mediational rather than adversarial measures would do a lot to change the perception of being “divisive” process to one that is “fair and impartial”.
Information of procedures in these type of disputes can be made easily available via the Council website; booklets and worksheets can be made available, with clear and easy to understand procedures detailing fair, impartial and professional dealings with the parties involved.
The implementation of these measures will go a long way to restoring community faith in the current process; the Council is seen to be taking major positive steps in what is a divisive and sometimes offensive neighbourhood issue.
These measures will also save a lot of Council time and money, and the beauty of these measures is that it takes little, if any, money to implement.
It simply needs to be done
creator Australian and New Zealand Cultural Arts Drumset Examination Syllabus
producer “Melbourne Musos” television show
drum and guitar teacher
Annoyed by Noise .pdf file : EPA Victoria Document web: www.epa.vic.gov.au
Tips for better communication Information Sheet:
Dept. of Justice, Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria
City of Hobsons Bay Letters re: noise nuisance
relevant Age newspaper article 2004
The Right to Play
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