Building relationships with local authorities and residents

This chapter offers advice on building positive relationships with neighbours and authorities so that they can understand your business and you can address potential issues quickly and effectively.

Best practice

Communications

  • Consider establishing a communication plan for your venue that includes regular contact with local authorities such as police and council, as well as community and residents’ groups in your area. Such a plan might include regular meetings or notifying your neighbours and authorities when planning big events or changes to your entertainment schedule.
  • Making sure that after-hours contact numbers for you and your managers are available to staff, patrons, residents and authorities will ensure that any issues can be dealt with as soon as possible after they arise.

Police

  • When planning changes to the operation of your business, such as extending trading hours or introducing live music, you should contact your local police station and seek advice from the liquor licensing inspector for your municipality.
  • Being proactive in communicating with police will demonstrate that you have good intentions and will give you the best chance of avoiding any trouble.
  • You should also investigate the history of your venue and any previous licences. If the venue has a history of noise-related issues, your local liquor licensing inspector will know about it – and you need to know about it as well.

 

Neighbours

  • Consider door-knocking in your local area to introduce yourself to your neighbours, tell them about your business and learn about their expectations regarding noise and safety. This will let you know up front if there will be any issues, as well as giving them a contact point if they have any concerns in the future.
  • Consider hosting a monthly meeting or social night for local residents on a quiet night in your venue. Neighbours who are familiar and comfortable with your venue will be more accomodating towards your entertainment schedule and more likely to talk positively about your venue to friends and family. Opening your doors and welcoming your neighbours in will not only increase your patronage, but help them to see that you are part of the neighbourhood too.

Resources

Guides on communicating with residents can be found at the following websites:

www.residents3000.net.au
https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/residents/pages/resident-groups.aspx