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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Splendour still has more to do

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At this year’s Splendour In The Grass held at Parklands, the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) attended the event to assess compliance with the trial approval. While the compliance report released last week shows that there were a lot of improvements in key areas, it also showed non-compliance with the current noise criteria. As a result, DP&E have fined Parklands $3,000 for this breach.

Parklands accepts this fine and has been working with DP&E for some months now to better manage this issue. The results of our extensive noise monitoring program at this event (there were over 100 attended noise samples in over eight suburbs) clearly show that the ‘bass’ component was the sound that some residents were hearing during the event, particularly on the Friday night when windy conditions prevailed.

Parklands currently has no set bass criteria in its conditions and as such we are voluntarily applying for such limits to be set through a change to the existing approval. By setting bass criteria, the venue can better manage and enforce noise levels, which will lead to a better outcome for our local community.

We also acknowledge that we need to improve in our management of the noise complaints hotline during peak festival times and steps have been taken to this effect.The other key change to the approval Parklands is seeking is the ability to host non-music-focused community events at Parklands. The venue has been overwhelmed by local educational institutions, sporting organisations and community groups seeking to hold their activities during those 320-plus days when the venue sits idle. We would welcome them.

We’re nearly halfway through our trial period and have learned a huge amount in that time. We still have more to do and we thank the wider community for its patience and ongoing support as we strive to make Parklands a venue our community can be proud of.

Mat Morris, GM, North Byron Parklands

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  1. The Byron Bay Runners Inc group will be keen to have running events at your beautiful site Matt. It is a shame that your DA cannot allow for events that will compliment the site.The noise from 200 children’s running feet for cross country events on your site would be brilliant .
    A 5km,10km and 21km running and walking race around the huge site would be a fantastic drawcard for the Northern part of Byron Shire.A great location for a Walk for Life relay.A learn to bike ride location for children,how safe and secure away from speeding motorists.
    Here’s waiting with impatient running shoes!

  2. Mat,there is a very simple solution and one that won’t cost you money. TURN THE VOLUME DOWN OR PULL OUT THE ELECTRICITY PLUG WHEN THE SOUND METER GOES OVER A SET LEVEL.

  3. Try coming down our end of the shire Geoff and you will discovery Brunswick Heads Sports complex just waiting for you to put your shoes on. Why go to a site that is not made for sports events when we ratepayers are maintaining these sports fields?

  4. The sports fields at Brunswick Heads are administered by the Brunswick Valley Combined Sport and Recreation Association for predominantly member clubs such as: cricket, soccer, AFL, hockey, rugby and others. These fields are already overused and the playing surfaces are always a challenge to maintain. It’s perhaps not appropriate to make such an offer as the use of the fields for regional activities without first consulting the Sports association.
    On the other-hand it was Splendour’s donation which paid for the well utilized skate facility at the fields. Which has been of great benefit to the youth of the area. Now If we could just convince the council to use a small fraction of the money that is poured into the Byron Sports Complex to up-grade the toilets at the Brunswick fields which are in poor condition at the best of times.

    • I went on Council’s website and found (as I expected) that I would have to book the fields through Council (not Bruns Valley Blaa Blaa). There is a long history of schools using these fields – nothing new there. Interestingly it was council that in recent years upgraded the lights partly through a government grant and partly through our ratepayer $ (total cost $105,000). Sure, the community should acknowledge the great work done by sports clubs to help maintain and use these fields …

      In regard to the skate park – according to council it cost $180,000 and the acknowledged partners in the project were council; Sk8Brunswick Taskforce; and Bruns Chamber of Commerce. No doubt there was government funding for part of it. Big deal if Splendour put a little bit in! So did lots of other developments that paid Sec94 contributions towards community facilities!

      Sure, Splendour puts $s into the community – but this is little compensation for the dramatic effect they have on residents and the environment … it’s not a good deal at all!

  5. Brunswick sporting fields has such a large number of clubs vying for the use of the fields and the facilities that it runs a sports association to co-ordinate these activities and timetable of users. All the positions on the committee are filled by volunteers from the member clubs who are typically also the heads of there individual clubs.Blah Blah, yes tedious isn’t it, but necessary. Council would not book these fields or facilities without first consulting the Sports assc, New arrangements for sporting clubs and asscn in the Shire, which also includes new user-pay fees and charges, are currently the subject of Byron Shire councils Sports Stakeholders Forum. This may impact on casual users like the local school in the future, who have enjoyed a close relationship with the sports asscn, understandably since most of the kids from there fill the various codes.
    The point is that the fields are already overused and to refer to The Brunswick fields as a “Sporting Complex” with connotations that there is a vast pristine and underutilize facility in the North is simply not the case.
    The Parklands Facility is a beautiful expansive property with undulating hills and tracks. There would certainly be a lot of interest in using the site for things like school adventure camps, bike riding, cross country running to name a few. This type of recreation space is different than a traditional running oval and could broaden the scope of opportunities for sport and recreation in the north of the Shire.

  6. Well all you runners and sporty people, you had better stop arguing and start running or negotiating because when Parklands Splendour ‘trial period’ runs out and they don’t get further approval to run their noisy festivals Parklands will become Parklands Estate and be covered in non affordable housing. Yep, another housing monstrosity, like the one that could be built on a swamp near Byron

  7. Thats true Peter. Many have been onto that possible scenario for some time now. Just look at the amount of fill thats been bought onto the festival site! Meanwhile nobody else is allowed to import fill on the floodplain – thats to protect the existing housing from increased flood levels. Its worth remembering though that Yelgun Flats (the festival carpark) can go under one metre of flowing water without much warning. Even the festival developers know that there is a chance of flooding while hundreds of patrons cars are there. Imagine: say two hours flood warning and trying to get hundreds of cars out – owners are one kilometre away; many patrons can’t drive due to intoxication; many can’t drive on a slippery cow paddock; many get bogged, making exit scenario even worse. Look how long it takes to get them all out already (no flood/ no bush fire) – a recipe for disaster (yet another festival disaster waiting to happen).

    Don’t be concerned about the “runners” – thats a red herring to divert attention away from the main point of Parkland’s letter i.e. they want increased noise levels! You suddenly get all sorts of ‘friends’ when you give away token money to their groups/ clubs – of course that helps to keep many complaints quiet, and provides a number of supporters who can only see the token $s and fail to see the big picture.


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