Fillmores meeting outcomes

Published on 06 March 2023

Council chambers Oct 2022

Kiama Council, the operators of local live music venue Fillmores and complainants had a productive and robust round of meetings on Friday to address the challenges being experienced in regard to noise complaints and compliance issues.

CEO Jane Stroud has thanked Fillmores and the complainants for taking the time to talk openly about the situation, and how to find solutions.

“Meetings of this nature are never easy, and there are always different views and tensions, but I am grateful that all parties attended with an open mind and were solution focused,” Ms Stroud said.

“Everyone has a right to be heard on their views and differences of opinions when it comes to land uses and these discussions should be able to occur without fear of reprisals or recrimination.”

Ms Stroud said Council would be providing Fillmores more time to meet their compliance order requirements, but that the matters raised in the order still do need to be worked through.

“Council’s advice remains that the best course of action for the future of the site and business of Fillmores is to lodge a development application. It's the same process any business owner or home owner has to go through.”  

The meeting outcomes included:

  • Monthly meetings to help work through items and provide advice on development application process and pathway
  • An onsite inspection to work through and document what matters have already been responded to from the compliance order
  • Obtaining legal advice for all parties that clarifies matters of differing interpretation concerning live music
  • Modification of the compliance order to allow for an extension of time through to 30 April 2023
  • Allowing Fillmores to continue operating under the conditions and requirements of the Complying Development Certificate (issued by a private certifier) as normal
  • Also allowing activities scheduled for the Kiama Jazz and Blues Festival
  • Agreement to discuss and raise operator insurances required for patrons in laneway
  • Offer of formal mediation discussed
  • Agreement on the need for continued healthy and respectful relationships between all parties and patrons

Director Environmental Services Jessica Rippon said Council’s focus remained on assisting Fillmores to meet their legal requirements to continue operating as a live music venue and café, and managing its operational impacts.

“We understand how much the community love the venue and value arts, culture and active and noisy spaces in our CBD of Kiama,” Ms Rippon said.

“Council values these too and we are just as passionate about supporting the arts in our community.”

“This doesn’t change the fact that Council always has a lead role to play in managing both the planning and the compliance requirements for any business or development in our LGA.”

“We do our work in this area impartially and professionally, and we want to help wherever we can in this regard.”

“The beauty of the planning process is that it facilitates clarity. It gives all parties the ability to make submissions for and against, and provides a decision.”

“It also allows councils to set out conditions of operation that are based on fact and relevant legislation.”

“Planning approvals are meant to take the grey away and make it clear for all involved what’s required to operate in any location.”

“Kiama Council has invested a lot of time and effort in recent years to realise an exciting and shared vision for the Kiama CBD and we want venues like Fillmores to be part of that”.

“We all want a town centre that’s fun and lively by day and night, but also liveable for our community and we see our role is part of delivering that.”

“For all the passionate supporters of Fillmores out there please be assured Council hears you too and is working with all parties to find solutions.”

“We encourage any patrons of Fillmores to continue to be respectful of all neighbouring properties and to respect alternative views,” Ms Rippon said. 

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