The North Byron Parkland’s 5 year trial festival site at Yelgun (Byron Shire) has attracted a second noise infringement notice from the NSW Government since the projects inception two and a half years ago.
The Department of Planning and Environment imposed the second fine following a review of the noise levels at the Splendour In The Grass event (July 2015).
The department also issued warnings to the festival site owners after a local environment group provided a report about breaches of consent conditions at the festival.
The group, Conservation Of North Ocean Shores Inc (CONOS Inc), provided detail of issues at the festival that were contrary to the consent conditions.
These issues included camping outside of the event grounds, lack of adequate space between patron camps (fire hazard), sediment control (aquatic hazard), and litter control (health hazard) (see photo).
CONOS Inc have been protecting the outstanding environmental and Aboriginal heritage values of the locality for over 25 years.
The group have been particularly vocal in their desire to move these festivals away from the present trial site located in one of NSW’s most biologically rich areas.
The locality provides the last major north coast wildlife corridor link between the protected lowland coastal forests and the World Heritage Wollumbin forests.
We are not opposed to music festivals, we just don’t want to sacrifice a richly unique environment for the festivals.
We believe the owners should move to an area that is not a bio-hotspot.
It would make no difference to the music patrons, but it would be a big plus for the 50 threatened species that are resident in the locality.
These festivals were approved on a trial basis for five years to see if the owners (North Byron Parklands) could meet the conditions of consent imposed by the state government.
The reasons that these events are on trial, rather than approved as on-going, is because the government had serious doubts about whether the site was appropriate given its environmental sensitivity and the sites proximity to rural properties and village areas.
A large number of residents have found it necessary to make noise complaints to the festival organisers in order to try and protect the quiet lifestyle that they were accustomed to prior to the imposition of the festivals.
Noise complaints have been received up to 10km away (see noise map) within the Brunswick Valley which is a relatively small catchment that acts like a large amphitheatre during festivals.
Local residents complain about their windows rattling due to the loud noise levels.
CONOS Inc and supporters are very concerned about the effects of the loud noise on local wildlife including over 50 threatened species that utilize an existing major wildlife corridor and locality that includes the abutting environmentally protect wetlands and Billinudgel Nature Reserve.
Clearly, the events are unsuitable to this naturally very quiet locality. The proof of this is the fact that two noise related fines have been imposed due to excessive noise levels well above the natural noise levels.
Bob Oehlman, president, Conservation Of North Ocean Shores Inc (CONOS Inc)