In most circumstances the government is perfectly happy for you to live with the consequences of your property-location choices.
If you ring the council and say “hey, I moved onto Parramatta Road and all I hear is noisy traffic and I don’t like it!” do you think they’d a) shut the road down, or b) laugh at you for being the sort of person that hates traffic noise and then moves to a major thoroughfare and tell you that you brought this problem on yourself?
Follow up: what do you think would happen if you moved down the road from a garbage dump and then complained about the smell and trucks? Ditto sewerage plants. Ditto abattoirs. Ditto steelworks.
In fact, is there any situation where you could move next to a business and then demand that the already-existing business be shut down because it annoys you? Well, there’s one.
Sydney’s reputation for being absolutely determined to ensure that its residents are all tucked up in bed by nine continues apace with the news that those pubs which have somehow survived four years of lockouts and a $16 billion annual hit to the state nighttime economy now need to close their rooftop bars because new residents in new developments can hear people making merry and want that to end.
Specifically: the new developments near the Kings Cross Hotel have led to a four week ban on balcony-drinking (over Mardi Gras, no less!), with similar bans for the Marlborough Hotel in Newtown and the Royal Oak in Double Bay.
And why would someone move near a pub and then make a complaint about this annoying pub being in proximity?
Well, it’s probably not entitlement or that they’re pure evil, although there’s no reason to rule that out. Just ask the Opera House and their nearby well-heeled residents of the Toaster, who’d like them to shut the hell up.
And not to put too fine a point on it, a resident who manages to get a nearby pub shut will see the value of their own property jump, as houses near licenced premises are normally cheaper because of things like, say, noise. So there’s a direct financial incentive for an unscrupulous developer to make some complaints to council and let the venue comply themselves into bankruptcy.
So this isn’t just a bunch of boomers being jerks – or at least, that’s not the entire story.
Sydney has so far resisted calls for an “agent of change” law which would effectively say “you moved into the area, you knew what was going on, if you didn’t do your due diligence then it’s not the community’s fault”, but this case just illustrates the urgent need for them.
And hey, NSW, don’t you have a state election coming up?