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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

For peat’s sake

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Listening to friends and neighbours speak at the Ocean Shores Primary School about the proposed Yelgun festival site moved me deeply. The hours of research and hard work evident in the detailed submissions revealed a genuine dedication to our community’s welfare. Taking time from work and other commitments, people stood and spoke their piece. I am grateful to live in a community that cares.

But what shook me to the core was the fireman, Chris Cherry, who drove 600km to speak. Formerly a farmer in Yelgun and active firefighter, he had also fought fires around Australia including Victoria. He said the land at Yelgun was a firetrap with peat below and tea trees that burn with toxic smoke.

The odds of 30,000 people at a festival, with half of those camping on the site, accidently dropping a match or somehow sparking a wildfire is very high. The fire service would not be equipped to rescue them or stop it from endangering our homes.

We also heard about floods and how difficult it would be to get 30,000 people to safely evacuate in case of flash flood.

My grandchildren are all for Splendour and might even want one of those ‘promised’ 100 jobs, but to put the staff and participants at risk of floods or fires would be negligent. No economic rationalism can justify this development.

Laura Jan Shore, New Brighton

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