Robert Oehlman, president of Conservation Of North Ocean Shores (CONOS)
The notion that Splendour in the Grass is an environmentally ‘green and clean’ event is hypocrisy at best. Recycling cans and bottles is their responsibility and does not deserve any awards; it is called looking after your environment and cleaning up your own shit.
In regards to the destruction currently underway in the Jones Road wildlife corridor: clearing existing habitat only to later replace it in an attempt to lure back species already displaced is at best a token gesture. Any poor fauna that are attracted to their new plantings will only be stressed further by the huge crowds, artificial lighting and noise levels that will again displace the wildlife. The proponents’ arguments that they will be doing wonders for the corridor, fauna and flora are an insult to anyone with an ounce of intelligence.
We have been informed that Mat Morris, general manager of North Byron Parklands, is also going to fulfill the role of the environmental representative, endorsed by the director-general of Planning NSW! This whole process has lacked transparency and has been flawed from the very start.
The community expectations were for a transparent process with the environmental representative being a fully qualified independent ecologist – not much to ask. If Splendour can’t manage this then the question has to be asked, what have they got to hide?
It is interesting to note that at a recent koala workshop, large music festivals, both current and proposed, were highlighted and a comment made that they could become a key threatening process to the future survival of our native species, particularly koala. In my opinion, in Byron Shire they already are.