As part of the NSW government’s seemingly endless war on a plant with proven medicinal benefits, NSW police took control of the Mullumbimby Showgrounds on Thursday and Friday. The police based a helicopter on the grounds, along with personnel for the Byron Shire annual ‘cannabis eradication’ festivity.
Harry, the Mullumbimby Showgrounds manager, told The Echo that police did not previously advise of their intention, or ask if they could use the grounds.
$1.5m plants seized
While costings on the operation are unavailable, police claim that more than $1.5 million worth of cannabis plants were seized. They say a total of 759 plants were found, with a potential street value of $1,518,000. That values each plant at $2,000, regardless of its size.
Additionally, no one was charged. Police say the helicopter searched Main Arm, Skyline Road, Palmwoods, Mullumbimby and Koonyum Ranges.
And while police say the plants were destroyed on Friday, February 12, there is no confirmation of that claim from an independent body.
The Echo asked NSW police media why they did not ask permission for use of the showgrounds and what legislation they are operating under to use Crown land without permission. There was no reply by deadline.
Reserve Trust committee member and Byron Shire councillor Duncan Dey (Greens) told The Echo he was unaware the police used the grounds and said that he understood that Crown lands could only be used in emergency situations.