A NSW Government website

Special entertainment precincts

Special entertainment precincts support live entertainment through extended trading hours for live music venues and favourable noise controls that provide operational certainty for venues, neighbouring residents and businesses. Councils can establish special entertainment precincts in their local areas. The precinct framework  allows councils to set requirements for amplified music and adopt their own plans to encourage more live music and performance venues. 

Recent changes to the Local Government Act, 24-Hour Economy Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, will improve the precinct framework to support councils to establish precincts through:

  • clearer sound governance: from mid-2024, Liquor & Gaming NSW will manage entertainment sound complaints for licensed venues while councils will set sound standards and manage noise from unlicensed venues
  • a trading extension for live music venues in special entertainment precincts, including 2 hours on nights when live music is offered, and one hour on other nights
  • new powers for councils to automatically adjust trading hours on development consents to support other businesses such as shops to open later
  • strengthening governance arrangements to support safety and collaboration.

How special entertainment precincts work

A special entertainment precinct is a defined area where sound from premises with amplified music is managed by a council through its noise management plan. This lets councils more easily support live music and performance in the precinct.

Any requirements on amplified music that would normally be in place under the NSW Liquor Act 2007 will not apply in the precincts, including any licence conditions on amplified music.

A council identifies a precinct by amending its local environmental plan and publishing the noise management plan on their website. A precinct may be a single premises, streetscape or other defined area. In some circumstances and at the request of a council, the Minister may amend a LEP through State Environmental Planning Policy. 

Commencing in 2024, recent changes to the Local Government Act require the precinct plan to set out:

  • the trading hours for premises in the precinct
  • the process in the Liquor Act for managing complaints about licensed premises in the precinct.

The changes to the Local Government Act will switch off conditions of development consent if they are inconsistent with council’s noise management plan for the precinct. These will apply to trading hours and noise from amplified music.

For example, if a condition of development consent sets the trading hours as 10am to 10pm and the council’s plan allows trading to be 10am to 12midnight, the condition of consent (to the extent of the inconsistency) ceases to have effect.

Councils must also notify residents and people moving into the area about the precinct. This could be done on a council website or a notation on planning certificates for land in the precinct.

Inner West Council trial

Inner West Council has now made the Enmore Road special entertainment precinct permanent. This will allow participating venues in the precinct to offer later trading and encourage more businesses to join. Council will update the management plan for the precinct to extend retail and outdoor dining trading hours.

In late 2022, a section of Enmore Road from Edgeware Road to King Street trialled the special entertainment precinct concept.

Inner West Council developed a noise management plan under local government legislation specific to the precinct to manage amplified music from licensed venues. 

Go to the Inner West Council website to find out more.

For more information on establishing and operating special entertainment precincts go to:

For more information on the Inner West trial, contact Billy Cotsis, economic development team leader: