Edward Mandla
Clove Moore’s City of Sydney fines belly dancing show over excessive noise

Published On: 10/06/2016

LORD Mayor Clover Moore’s fun police have whacked the owner of a small Sydney nightspot with a huge fine after neighbours complained about the noise during a sexy belly dancing show.

Hannibal Restaurant has been dishing up Middle Eastern grub on bustling Glebe Point Rd for about a year — including a range of popular kebabs.

But manager Jimmy Yousif is in a pickle after the City of Sydney council skewered him with a whopping $6000 fine following complaints about music during a brief performance by regular belly dancer Lulu.

The row erupted a couple of months back when council staff warned Mr Yousif about noise following a complaint from neighbours while Lulu jiggled her way through a dance. Jobsworth City officials told Mr Yousif to limit the music to a measly five decibels above normal background levels over a 15-minute period.

The clipboard-wielding pen-pushers left Mr Yousif with no wiggle room and couldn’t be swayed when they returned following another complaint about “audible and offensive amplified music” during one of Lulu’s dances.

A short time later Mr Yousif received the $6000 fine in the post — a penalty for allegedly breaching development consent which he says is equivalent to a month’s takings.

Mr Yousif and his wife, who owns the restaurant, were given 21 days to stump up the cash.

“I can’t pay $6000. I haven’t taken a day off in four months, I’ve remortgaged my house to start the business,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

Liberal councillor Edward Mandla was gobsmacked by the size of the fine, which comes as debate continues about the viability and vibrancy of Sydney’s night-life, including controversial lockout laws that critics claim are forcing venues to close.

“If this was a vegan restaurant with a vibrant, nutrient-rich menu or one of Clover’s arts buddies, I don’t reckon they would have thrown the book at them,” Mr Mandla said.

Mr Yousif admitted the roof above his restaurant was thin, providing people living above with little barrier from the music.

A City of Sydney spokesman said council staff had measured the amplified music coming from the restaurant and found it was “playing in excess of the permitted noise level”.

“The noise level is set under the conditions of development consent for the business and was substantiated as offensive noise within the affected resident’s house,” the council spokesman said.

“The restaurant is located in a residential area and the needs of business must be balanced with the needs of residents in the community.

“Earlier this year the business owner was given a written warning in relation to noise levels.”

Clove Moore’s City of Sydney fines belly dancing show over excessive noise

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