Vibrancy Reforms

Regulation around noise, planning and liquor licensing has been streamlined, updated and simplified through the NSW Government’s 24-Hour Economy Legislation (Vibrancy Reforms) Amendment Act 2023. This means venues in NSW will have the opportunity to reach their full entertainment, economic and creative potential – especially at night. These changes aim to encourage live music, extend trading hours, and create more vibrant spaces through incentives like outdoor seating.

For more information on the Vibrancy Reforms see the NSW Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commission: Vibrancy Reforms | NSW Government

More Opportunities for Live Music

The Vibrancy Reforms will reduce regulation and streamline the approval process for venues that wish to host live music. At present, the current NSW planning framework enables businesses two options for live music to be performed in venues.

Option one is called an ‘exempt development’ and requires no approval from Council. This is the easiest and quickest pathway for businesses. Businesses must meet certain requirements including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The music must be indoors
  • Live music must not be carried out in a residential zone.

For a full list of the requirements needed to be ‘exempt development’ see the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Subdivision 15AB).

Where a business wishes to have live music but cannot meet all the requirements of an exempt development, there is an option to lodge a Development Application (DA) to be considered and approved by Council. Businesses choosing this option will be assessed to see if live music is appropriate in the venue and locality, and this will include consideration of the following:

  • The impact of noise on neighbouring properties generated from live music.
  • The hours of which the live music is being performed.

For more guidance facilitating live music, the Service NSW Business Concierge service and Realise Business are two free programs that provide personalised support to small businesses within the Sutherland Shire. These services an also help in advising business which planning pathway they can use in allowing live music in their venues.


From mid-2024 there will be a new way to report noise complaints from licensed venues to Liquor and Gaming NSW, as well as a more streamlined approval process for live music venues. Entertainment sound emanating from licensed premises is solely managed through the Liquor Act 2007.