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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Not-so-small events

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Meg Walker, Byron Bay

I wish to comment on the article in the Byron Echo (14 August) ‘Sunrise residents riled at planned events DA’.

North Byron Beach Resort project and developer manager Jeremy Holmes says the proposed events the resort is seeking to have passed by council are nothing more than on the scale of the already perfectly acceptable Writers’ Festival. The Sunrise residents have no objection to events such as these; in fact many of us of us go to the Writers’ Festival. Mr Holmes, however, fails to mention that the Writers’ Festival is vastly different from the plans the resort has to host so-called small-scale ‘cultural’ events, where loud music will be played simultaneously on two stages with the added use of subwoofers. Overnight camping will be provided on the property for the 1,000–3,000 attendees to these events, which the Writers’ Festival-goers do not do.

Mr Holmes states that there are no other approved venues in Byron Bay that are able to hold such cultural events. What about Red Devil Park or Belongil Fields or the new, very expensive sports and cultural recreational site we’re told was built exactly for such events?

Mr Holmes also states that a website was listed on a flyer distributed to the residents of Sunrise. Since most of the Sunrise residents did not receive this flyer, they were unaware of this website and ongoing information regarding these low-key events.

We in Sunrise fear these events (with as yet only a recommended amount of days/nights and with only a recommended amount of attendees) will expand into much larger and more frequent festivals as we have seen Splendour and the Bluesfest do over the years.

Surely Mr Holmes and the owners of the resort are concerned about the large impact this proposal will have on the Sunrise community with all the extra traffic, noise, security issues etc? Is there any concern at all of the massive impact these large events will have on the wildlife? The resort had overnight camping during the last Splendour and many residents at this end of Sunrise witnessed stressed, confused animals along the railway tracks and in their backyards trying to escape the noise and general intrusion the campers had on their daily routines.

May I say again we are not opposed to any real cultural, small-scale events. We only wish to retain our tranquillity and not to have to bear the impact these not-so-small events will have on our Sunrise community.


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