by Marcus Wicken
Kings Cross residents vented their frustrations on March 20 to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore in a public forum dominated by complaints about the area’s boisterous nightlife.
The Mayor and other Council representatives attended a workshop in Potts Point, the fifth in a series of events at distinct Sydney ‘villages’ this month.
Kate Read, the Council officer who coordinated the event, had anticipated that it would be a good source of ideas for programs to build social cohesion. “This year we’re not just saying ‘what do you want?’, but ‘what can you do that we can help fund?’” she said.
Similarly event ‘MC’ Lucy Cole-Edelstein told attendees at the start of the night that “the focus is to talk with you about your vision and your ideas for the future.”
But proceedings were dominated by complaints from residents about noise pollution caused by late-opening bars and restaurants.
“The Council continually allows businesses to trade outside their own guidelines and it’s just untenable for people who actually live in the area. It’s crazy”, said Challis Avenue resident Richard Ribodi, expressing sentiments echoed by many present.
Moss Ibrasen, also a resident, said that “concerns about late night service of alcohol and associated crime dominated the entire evening and not many other issues were explored because of the overwhelming noise of those issues”.
Speaking on behalf of the Council, Ms Read said “the event was the most fiery of the village forums so far” but that the Council was not disappointed with the tone of the night. Ms Read said that ideas around childcare, bus services, homelessness and history plaques on historic buildings were also discussed. “But there was a strong message from the community that they’d like to look at the late night economy”, she said.