22 C
Byron Shire
January 19, 2022

Camping danger at Splendour

Latest News

Lismore Women’s Festival cancelled

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that is sweeping NSW and other states in Australia the Lismore Women’s Festival has been cancelled.

Other News

Psychedelic medical trials to begin

A new clinical trial exploring the impact of psychedelic medicines on brain activity has come a step closer to fruition, after being partially funded and granted ethics approval.

776 cases of COVID-19 in the Northern Rivers in last 24 hours

There’s no shortage of positive COVID-19 cases in the Northern NSW Health District with the current count likely to be an underestimation of the numbers due to the overwhelmed testing capacity.

Lismore Councillors sworn in and Committees decided

On Tuesday, Lismore City Council GM Michael Donnelly facilitated the swearing-in of the new Mayor and 10 Councillors in the chambers at Goonellabah.

Carjacking in Ocean Shores, warrants issued

A young Ocean Shores man and his friends were recently held captive at knife-point and driven to Coolamon Scenic Drive by two young men before they escaped unharmed.

Is your water off in Lennox Head?

Ballina Council says that water supply is temporarily unavailable to properties on Pinnacle Row, and parts of Ballina Street, Lennox Head due to a water main break on North Creek Road that occurred this morning.

Food for thought?

‘The fundamental cause of the trouble,’ he wrote, ‘is that in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while...

Seems no-one wants to know!

Last week I submitted a letter with photo detailing how the camping areas at the recent Splendour festival posed a serious danger to their patrons.

The response was a short dismissal in an article on the basis of a council assurance there was a bushfire evacuation plan, nothing to do with my concerns.

The camp areas were severely overcrowded with no discernible layout pattern and surrounded by a high fence with limited exits. I spoke to a number of campers and none were aware of any evacuation plan.

Any fire, gas explosion or other violent event at night, with many campers affected by alcohol or other drugs, would have caused an extremely dangerous situation as people struggled to get away in the dark.

I asked the mayor, who attended the event (hopefully at his own expense), if he was happy with the council’s approval of these areas.

He mentioned the bushfire plan and expressed confidence that the staff had done their job, but rather undermined this assurance with the comment, ‘it was much worse last year when they couldn’t even get the fire trucks in’.

As a former scientifically-trained army logistics officer (experienced in field layouts) and a qualified health surveyor, I know what I am talking about.

If the mayor and GM are happy that council has adequately performed to their duty of care in this matter let them say so, and if they think they have, then go away and revise their protocols before someone gets killed.

If anyone is contacting the council again about this, I suggest you ask:

1. Was there a detailed layout plan of the campsites submitted and can you see them?
2. Were the campsites inspected after occupancy? If so when and how often?
3. What legislation/criteria was used in assessing these layouts?
4. Did the campsites conform to this standard at all times?
5. Was there an evacuation plan covering all contingencies disseminated to campers?

I suspect that these sites were never inspected due to either due to the hazy division of responsibility between the council and the DoP or because someone wasn’t too keen to have it done…

Tom Tabart, Bangalow


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. So true Tom! After disasters overseas at festivals you’d think they would learn. To me it is self-evident that they could not evac people quickly (nor move them to a so-called safe area). My judgement is based on the many hours patrons spend trying to leave the site after the festival. Do the organisers care or do they continue to promote that every things fine. Which reminds me … how is it!… the reason that the noise was so loud and travelled so far was not because it was turned up too loud .. it was because the wind kept changing directions!!! Hahaha

  2. Thank-you TOM TABART:
    For a highly specialised enquiry!!
    Much respect in Scientific(mass) Army LOGISTICS !

    Byron Bay (CBD) ++ rural & wet-lands seem a potential disaster.
    In town planning & Enviromental & Public Health!!!
    This ex-rate-payer got out very fast!
    Potential for disaster!!
    Paradise lost…

  3. It was fine mate, there was no problem and it will be fine next time too, bigger issues to worry about than some campers. She’ll be right mate. Thanks for worrying tho. I’m sure the promoters don’t care as long as they make a huge profit.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Vale Byron girl, Patricia Marcia Dailhou 

Patricia, better known as Pat or Patsy, was born in Byron Bay in 1933 and was the second eldest of nine, to Horace Cecil Vernon Freeman (better known as ‘Bluey’) and Dorothy Lulu Freeman (nee Daniels). 

Daintree buyback sees more forest retained

Over the last two-and-a-half years the Mullumbimby based Rainforest 4 Foundation has had a mission to buy back parts of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest that were subdivided for sale in the 1980s. 

Over 1,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Northern Rivers

There have been 1,099 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWHD) to 8pm 18 January. These numbers include 663...

Localisation shines as supply chains weaken

While Coles and Woolworths struggle with supply chain issues caused by the Omicron outbreak, local farmer’s markets and independent food retailers appear to be coming into their own.