Residents up in arms about case 953770 – ATET nightclub
Heather Richards lives in the Forge apartment tower at Yarra’s Edge and she looks out over the river.
She has a clear view of a new, contentious night club ATET on Victoria Harbour.
By day it looks like a charming greenhouse nestled next to the wharf.
But by night, most recently on Victorian Election Night, it was a pulsing mass of colour and of the deep, deafening bass of “doof doof” music.
If Heather opens the doors and has dinner on her balcony, she can still hear what her dining companions have to say. However, the noise from ATET is still present and intrusive.
But when the ATET nightclub first opened over the weekend of October 22-23, the noise was so loud for the people of Yarra’s Edge that children couldn’t sleep, furniture rattled, and residents were riled.
On November 26, Election Night, Heather received a close-up video of the nightclub from a fellow resident and campaigner. It included footage of a patron jumping into the water (pictured above).
The fight to have the volume of ATET turned down has taken residents to multiple City of Melbourne council meetings, to the EPA and now to Docklands News.
When Docklands News first spoke to Heather she was relaxed about the campaign. She said that hundreds of residents were affected, however, the communication that she personally had with the council indicated it was listening.
She’d lodged a complaint via the council’s website the week before and they’d phoned back the next day. Patrols were sent out and it appeared that the volume had been turned down at around 9.30pm.
She said the volume may have gone up again when there was a new DJ but she, in a “live and let live” community spirit mood, was off to make her own noise at a council Gateway Hub community event by the river. Then she received an email from the council and said to disregard her former comments.
“The person on duty last weekend was compassionate,” she said. “He heard you. This [next council officer] person has dismissed everything I had to say.”
The residents of the Forge and Voyager apartment blocks and the townhouses facing the river at Yarra’s Edge say they have been severely affected by the nightclub’s noise and have a right to be taken seriously.
“Last night [November 26] there was a lot of comment,” Heather said. “It was louder than it has been. There were a lot of chats.”
Heather, who has a therapy background, added, “I appear calm. I have a good grip on emotions. It’s okay to be angry. It’s what you do with it that counts.”
She said she was using her anger in a constructive way to get an outcome from the council, but that the officer she’d most recently dealt with had been dismissive towards residents and they’re “up in arms about it” because the email titled “case 953770” attempts to pass the buck between different departments.
“Certain issues reported to council can be directed to various different areas, depending on the precise nature of the issue and based on information provided by our customers,” the email from a City of Melbourne local laws officer said.
“This is an example of an issue that may be handled by planning, waterways, or local laws. I noticed that this case has come through to local laws but your previous case was directed to planning enforcement, so I’ve reviewed the background on this issue before proceeding to ensure that it is being managed in the most efficient and appropriate manner.”
The email went on to reallocate the case to Planning Enforcement then stated: “I will let you know that it appears this matter [the investigation] is confidential so there may only be very limited information available to you, but rest assured the matter is being taken seriously and work is well under way.” •