Agent of Change


Victoria, Australia

Completion date


On September 4, 2014, the Victorian State Government amended planning schemes to implement the ‘Agent of Change’ principle with respect to noise from live music performance. The Agent of Change principle aims to protect live music venues from residential encroachment. The new clause (52.43) has now been in effect for many months and has been tested in several planning cases.  Marshall Day Acoustics has been involved in a number of music assessment projects where the Agent of Change clause has been triggered. MDA has also taken part in Music Industry discussions, and presented technical information to local Councils and Music Industry Bodies on the topic of Agent of Change, throughout the Clause’s evolution since its introduction.


Scope of Services

Marshall Day Acoustics' work involved:

  • Undertaking music assessments involving live music venues and proposed residential developments where the Agent of Change clause has been applied
  • Providing a comprehensive review of technical aspects of the accompanying guideline document to the clause, produced by the Victorian Government
  • Discussing stakeholder issues and presenting an overview of the technical aspects of the clause at information seminars for Music Industry representatives and Local Council
  • Designing practical and appropriate interfaces between live music venues and residential areas



While the Agent of Change Clause has been in effect since September 2014, a case is yet to be tested at VCAT. The effects of introducing the clause are complex, and guideline documents have been revised where testing of the planning provision showed inconsistencies with legal apparatus. A key challenge of undertaking music assessments where Agent of Change has been applicable is providing advice for as-yet untested scenarios. By working closely with local Councils and other stakeholders, MDA has been able to provide informed and up to date advice to clients.