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Nightclub owners could face litigation for hearing loss.

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Media Release Kevin Andrews Minister for Ageing

KA76/2002 25 August 2002

NIGHTCLUB OWNERS COULD FACE LITIGATION FOR HEARING LOSS Nightclub owners could face litigation from patrons and staff due to loud noise damaging their hearing, Minister for Ageing Kevin Andrews warned today.

Launching Hearing Awareness Week 2002, which runs from 25 to 31 August, Minister Andrews said: "It is unfortunate that young people suffer damage to their hearing through loud noise, especially loud music in pubs and clubs."

"There are strong parallels between the impacts of uninvited noise pollution and the debate around litigation and passive smoking.

"Some State and Territory Governments have introduced Codes of Practice for noise management in the music entertainment industry, which is positive step.

"The management at these music venues now have a duty of care for their staff and patrons, with litigation possible for offenders.

"In the future, we could see nightclub owners face litigation from staff and patrons, just as we have seen hoteliers sued over passive smoking.

"I hope that as a society we can avoid going down the litigation route with hearing loss by raising awareness of people taking responsibility for their own hearing heath.

"Even small behavioural changes are important, whether it be occupational or recreational, such turning down the volume of your stereo or Walkman."

Minister Andrews encouraged people to have a free hearing test at one of Australian Hearing's nationwide centres - which are being offered during Hearing Awareness Week.

Media Contact: Felicity Dargan (Minister's Office) 0409 550 446

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Published on Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing web site 26 August 2002