Bodalla Arms Hotel faces uncertain future after live music ban

SOUND TALK: NSW Business Chamber regional president Orit Karny Winters with the Bodalla Arms Hotel licensee Michelle Coric.
SOUND TALK: NSW Business Chamber regional president Orit Karny Winters with the Bodalla Arms Hotel licensee Michelle Coric.

THE future of the Bodalla Arms Hotel is in jeopardy after a ban on amplified music due to complaints from neighbours and police, and an adverse finding from an investigating authority.

Liquor and Gaming NSW has ordered the hotel to install a noise limiter for all amplified music, and that all amplified music must cease until an acoustic report showed it complied with regulations.

“It is going to cost us $3800 to $4800 just to get the report,” licensee Michelle Coric said.

“This is a heritage pub, so it scares me to think what the cost could blow out to.”

The hotel has appealed the decision.

“This is already badly affecting business and it is going to kill us,” Ms Coric said.

Department of Justice director of compliance and enforcement Paul Irving ruled against the hotel.

“The hotel has, at times, caused and continues to cause undue disturbance to the neighbourhood,” Mr Irving said.

He said Far South Coast Police Sergeant Robert Moore had offered advice to reduce noise, but this was not acted on or did not assist.

After more complaints on Australia Day, 2016, “Sgt Moore conducted one-hour noise assessments in the home of each complainant, and determined the complaints were justified,” Mr Irving said.

He found the hotel's Facebook administrator had referred to complainants as “d...heads”, conduct he found “inappropriate and offensive”. He found the hotel "hosted a three-day music festival in an apparent attempt to demonstrate against the complainant” and Ms Coric posted "let's stick it to 'em" on Facebook. She later apologised.

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The NSW Business Chamber's inaugural regional president for the Capital Far South Coast Region, Orit Karny Winters met with Bodalla pub owners this week.

The Narooma businesswomen said the situation was unfortunate and instead of the "going back and forth" she would like to see the community working together.

"It's important for the pub to have live music for both the business and the town because it brings people from everywhere," she said. "Hundreds of people have signed a petition to keep the music going."

The pub owners were working an altering the building structure to reduce the amplification of sound and she was hopefully latest application to continue as a live music venue would be successful.

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Ms Karny Winters meanwhile had just finished her first tour of the region in her new position, meeting with six chambers of commerce.

Issues she was taking on included revitalising the Queanbeyan business community and securing a water supply for Boorowa.

In the Eurobodalla region, she was working on getting a new chamber for the town of Mogo with the first AGM on April 4, while she was also in discussion with chambers of commerce across the shire with the assistance of council to get up a shire-wide business awards event.