Following on from yesterday’s report that Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne was successful in passing his ‘Good Neighbour’ policy, pushing for a 3am license in his continued fight for iconic Sydney pub, the Annandale Hotel, the former owners of the live music venue have vented their anger at local council over social media, implicating the council’s dodgy tactics that led to them reluctantly handing over the keys as the venue entered receivership.
The newly elected Mayor has publicly distanced himself from previous council’s ‘fun police’ tactics in bullying the Annandale and its owners, previously stating that “I for one will be doing everything I can to make sure that the Annandale remains a live music venue, including working urgently with the receivers;” even prompting receivers Ferrier Hodgson to apply for longer trading hours on the venue’s license.
Now, former owner of the Annandale, Matt Rule took to social media yesterday, according to FasterLouder, following the media reports of Darcy Byrne’s pushing for a 3am license for the venue, which is now in the hands of receivers Ferrier Hodgson, furious at the council’s u-turn after their own struggles with Leichhardt Municipal Council.
The Rule brothers were in and out of the Land Environment court over eight long years of fighting over late-night trading issues and noise complaints, which led to legal costs totalling $250,000, leading them to come up with their innovative ‘Buy A Brick’ scheme to help keep the venue afloat.“(The Council’s) actions ultimately contributed to us losing a business we struggled to for 13 years to keep alive, our family losing money and my brother and I stone motherless broke…” – Matt Rule, former Annandale owner
In his post, Rule labels the council a “bunch of c#nts,” pointing out they that funded a campaign by “three vexatious, lying residents,” that cost him and his brother in “excess of 200K in legal fees, years of lost revenue, hundreds of hours writing counter claim submissions to the liquor board,” and claims they “underhandedly” help up their legal team in hearings while they “changed the zoning where the Anannadale sits to make it a non late trading area restricting us from obtaining a late license despite eventually winning [in court].”
Rule adds that the council put the venue through “unimaginable amounts of stress as we scratched every day to figure out how to pay the bills to keep the doors open [and] who, chose to ignore the fact that throughout all of this we had the support of their own council assessment officers, the local police and 98% of the local residents.”
Finally noting that the same local council, “who’s actions ultimately contributed to us losing a business we struggled to for 13 years to keep alive, our family losing money and my brother and I stone motherless broke… are now gifting the receivers who work for the bank a late license the minute we are out on our arses?”
Mayor Darcy Byrne has now responded to Rule’s angered comments, as TheMusic points out in a report into past council issues, issuing a statement that reads:
The Rule brothers and music fans are right to be furious with the previous Council. Immediately after becoming Mayor five months ago I moved to overturn Council’s [persecution] of live music venues. Prior to the last election I met with the Rule brothers and offered my unqualified support for any changes they needed from Council. I remain as committed as ever to seeing the Hotel continue as an iconic live music venue.”
The Leichhardt Mayor also noted that a decision by the council back in 2005, after much controversy, “to ignore the advice of staff and force the Annandale to close early was wrong, opportunistic and short sighted.”
In pandering to three NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard] complainers,” says Byrne, presumably in reference to the same ‘vexatious, lying residents’ of Rule’s fiery statement; “instead of standing up for this iconic venue the previous Council contributed directly to today’s crisis.
I will continue to fight everyday to bring the Annandale and Sydney’s live music scene back to life and I don’t give a damn if I upset a few self interested NIMBY’s along the way.”“I will continue to fight everyday to bring the Annandale and Sydney’s live music scene back to life and I don’t give a damn if I upset a few self interested NIMBY’s along the way.” – Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne
In addition to Cr Byrne’s response, the Annandale Hotel Facebook page also posted a note responding to the “confusion in the past few weeks with our beloved venue.”
“Dear music lovers – Paddy here direct from the Annandale HQ,” the statement begins, “from someone who has worked, loved, lived, and breathed this place for over five years now I thought now’s the time to share my perspective.”
“Aside from my crazy uncles Matt & Dan not being here, much is the same. It feels as though the Rule Brothers are on a much deserved holiday. I can tell you right now, though they are not here they wish the Annandale to continue rocking for all of eternity. i had lucnh [sic] with them today and they are in very good spirit as usual, the bloody legends they are,” he writes, which is in stark contrast to Rule’s fiery post.
“Next time you’re down the Dale you’ll recognize the crew and vibe to be unchanged. Dan Rule’s son Jack is a bar manager here now. And he’s making us all very proud with how much of a legend he’s turned out to be. Nice having a junior colonel still roaming the bar!” the statement continues.
“Yep, It’s all rock and roll as usual round here ladies and gentlemen… so rather than sitting around at home acting like little hardcore keyboard warriors, get your arse down to the Annandale for a beer! It wont be hard to pick a show that suits your taste with amazing nights coming up including Periphery, Bob Mould, Urthboy, The Angels, & The Bronx, to name a few!”
Which is little consolation for the Rule brothers, with Matt’s social media ‘rant’ concluding by saying:
“You wanna save live music at the Annandale Hotel… give us back the probably $500k all of the above more than likely cost us so we can have our business back, hand us the late license and support the two people who 13 years ago when it wasn’t trendy or politically advantagous to support live music put their balls on the line and had a massive fucking crack!”