The two days of the commissioner’s hearings into the Ocean Shores/Wooyung 660-acre site for music tourism events has been for some a time of dissent and acrimony in the Shire. The director general’s report tells us that the North Byron Parklands project will generate 130 full-time-equivalent jobs. However, on checking the actual Part 3 application, I note that the director general’s estimate may be conservative. The applicant states there will be 210 FTE jobs generated by the project. Either figure would make North Byron Parklands the biggest employer in Ocean Shores, and one of the biggest in the Shire.
This, plus the flow-on effect of generating income and jobs, means more customers for small businesses, especially those involved in food services and tourism. This project will be of great benefit to the general economy of the town and the Shire.
The issues raised by the local objectors to the project such as noise, traffic, flooding and especially the environment have been dealt with to the satisfaction of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. The DPI has put in place strict conditions that have to be met with each event.
The question now becomes when will the very vocal minority in this Shire stop habitually and systematically destroying any application that generates economic benefit to our population? When will they stop using bullying and intimidation against ordinary people who disagree with them? When will government come up with a tool to accurately gauge the wishes of the silent majority?
In the case of the event Splendour in the Grass, if we were able to freely ask our young people (the 30s and under) would they prefer to stop Splendour in our Shire? The answer would be ‘no way’. Would they vote for this proposed permanent cultural event site in the north of the Shire for Splendour and other events? I think so. Have we missed some generational equity in this debate?
Jan Mangleson, Ocean Shores