Conservation of North Ocean Shores (CONOS) strongly supports Byron Shire Council and the adoption of its Events Policy into the LEP and encourages residents of the shire, who value their current lifestyle, to do the same.
The majority of residents choose to live in Byron Shire because of its colourful characters, beautiful beaches and subtropical environment. Following the recent approval by the NSW government to develop a major festival events site at Yelgun with Splendour in the Grass as the main attraction, the lifestyle we presently cherish is about to change forever.
The coalition government recently approved a five-year ‘trial’ for the Splendour in the Grass music festival and two other smaller events.
The Yelgun site is surrounded on three sides by the Billinudgel Nature Reserve and is located slap-bang in the middle of the most easterly wildlife corridor in the Byron Shire. This area supports more than 50 threatened fauna species including koalas, and is absolutely vital for the survival of our dwindling populations of fauna species. This approval clearly flies in the face of Council and of Shire residents who vehemently oppose the use of the Yelgun site and highlights the urgency for Council to amend the LEP as soon as possible.
Byron Shire Council is to be applauded for its fair and equitable approach taken with the Events Policy and LEP amendment, which together demonstrate a reasonable balance between the rights of residents and the business interests of festival promoters. Council has capped major music events to two annually and has acknowledged the existing use of the Blues and Splendour music festivals. Apparently this is not good enough though, as promoters have clearly demonstrated they want more.
We also applaud Glenn Wright who has successfully demonstrated an alternative to the high-impact major music events with his first-class Mullum Music Festival catering to 6,000 patrons a day. What is admirable, and welcomed by music lovers, is the fact that this music festival has little impact on the environment and surrounding amenity whilst still encouraging patrons to support local business.
Bob Oehlman, President CONOS