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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Straight facts about Falls

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Tina, Tina, Tina (Echonetdaily letters January 23), where do you get your assertions from? Let’s get the facts.

There were complaints about the noise at Splendour and same with Falls. In fact, many residents said the noise was louder than Splendour. The stages were configured differently to Splendour and sound monitoring was not set up at sensitive receivers, contrary to a condition of consent.

No, I do not speak for all of the north but I do make sure I have my facts straight.

Firstly, there were complaints about the telecommunications break down. It is sad and extremely worrying that you imply that you don’t care about the safety of the community in which you live, people who were cut off from their existing right to communicate. Many people do not have landlines to rely on. I will be passing on any relevant information to appropriate departments, eg Department of Planning director-general, so not to misinform nor be misinterpreted.

You say Falls was great – some facts: there was a fatality on the site, (saddened by this); communications went down; noise was unbelievable until the early hours of the morning; trying to get around our area was akin to being in Byron Bay traffic. People of the north will be so happy that you consider their existing use and amenity is of ‘no matter’.

There is much more, but what is important is the remaining four-year trial period, getting the countless situations that are proving inconvenient for communities sorted out, with conditions set in place to allow the community and festival attendees to move about the north of the shire in harmony. This is not being obstructive or scaremongering. Do not imply that I am not glad that the local businesses had a boom time. I’m thrilled.

So Tina, so glad you danced your bippy off but get your facts straight before you go to print.

Anyone who has any points they wish to express please write to the Department of Planning as well as the director general of planning, the governing body over this site.

As for the rest of your assertions, our community association has been lobbying for years for major projects that provide good, healthy entertainment for the community, contrary to what you have alleged. I’m the co-ordinator for the northern sports fields project and have the support of all community associations, schools and sports groups.

Finally, your suggestion that camping at Splendour was free is a joke. You obviously are not aware of the inflated price of tickets which include camping.

Kathy Norley, president, South Golden Beach Community Association

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  1. I really don’t know how our area is going to cope with an extra 10,000 people when this trial is in it’s last year.

    The other problem with these festivals is that the majority of patrons do not live in the area and do not voice their complaints in the local community, so it makes it seem that for the most part, things were pretty hunky dory.

    What about the 5-6 hour wait for many people trying to get out of the grounds, sitting in hot cars on a hot summer day? Then once they got out, they had another hour or more (RMS Live Traffic had an add an extra 80 minutes to the journey on their website) stuck in traffic between Brunswick & Byron if they were heading south on the highway.

    Admittedly, this was due to the highway upgrade, but surely things like this are supposed to be considered? Traffic between Christmas and New Year is already appalling without another few thousand cars added to the mix.

    If it takes hours upon hours to get out of the site in an organised fashion, it makes me wonder how the site would be evacuated in an emergency situation.

  2. The Yelgun festival site remains highly controversial due to both socio and environmental factors.

    CONOS Inc has been involved in protecting this area for some 20 years. Our FaceBook page details the views of many specialist environmental professionals who are seriously concerned about the impacts of this festival development. There are fifty threatened species in this locality and numerous cultural heritage places. A highly significant wildlife corridor is dissected by the festival site.

    These festivals could be held on less environmentally sensitive sites elsewhere. However the many species of flora and fauna cannot be translocated. To quote Dr Andrew Benwell: ‘Is it ethically acceptable to use a high conservation value area to study the effects of human disturbance on wildlife?’

    Of course we don’t think the environment should be sacrificed for ‘a good time’.


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