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Byron Shire
December 9, 2023

Why not a festival tax for Byron shire?

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Twelve festivals of 50,000 people and eight festivals of 25,000 is approximately 800,000 people using Byron shire’s limited facilities and possibly an extra 400,000 vehicles a year using our atrocious roads.

Just one greedy organisation, now foreign controlled, wants to bring in 32 times the shires’ population into the shire every year.

Add Bluesfeast”s proposed numbers to the above and the future tourist-numbers are truly mind-boggling – they will make the residential suburbs around those festival sites unliveable.

Byron shire has become one giant Mega-Festival of Greed and when one does the maths with ticket-prices, claimed punter-numbers, etc and compares that with the actual community contributions these hippy-capitalists make towards maintaining our local infrastructure it is millions of dollars in profit to cents ‘contributed’.

Only about five per cent of our shire’s population – the ‘business elite’ and their lackeys, actually benefit in any way at all from these private festivals and their never-ending expansion. The rest of us stand in lines in shops or queue in service stations, banks, chemists, etc, and use overcrowded roads that are falling apart.

There are a lot of reasons why the private mega-festivals in this shire should be restricted to two per year and capped at half their present numbers, not just this shire’s traffic problems and lack of resources/services.

Though hundreds of millions of dollars have been made by these greedy organisations in the last 20 years their contribution to the upkeep of our communities is monetarily pitiful and culturally very-negative. These are essentially very-lucrative ‘private parties’ for non-residents held behind razor-wire and surrounded by media bullshit.

It is about time we had a ‘festival tax’ of at least $30 per head/day, fixed up our roads/drainage, etc, and cleaned-up the rest of the shire. Byron shire has to be, apart from its’ ‘iconic tourist areas’, the most unkempt and ill-maintained shire in NSW.

A festival tax would bring $20 million a year just from NBP (Splendour in the Mud) alone into council’s coffers if we are to be inflicted by what they propose. Add Bluesfest’s punters and our residential rates could be lowered drastically, as well.

Then if we added a commercial ‘bed-tax’ of $10 per head/night and got the commercial-tourism/landlord-industry paying its’ fair share towards the upkeep of the shire, we might be able to afford a proper garbage-facility to burn our own garbage instead of being seen by the rest of Australia as a bunch of environmental-hypocrites who are bludging on the health of the residents of Ipswich shire.

John Lewis, Ocean Shores


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1 COMMENT

  1. The Music Festival promoters have played Byron Shire and the Council like a violin. These people want more-more-more and refuse to understand that there’s a cost of doing business that goes beyond paying the musicians and staff.

    But it’s the typical Byron mantra: “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine…”

    Well, in this case what’s ours is our decaying infrastructure that Council expects a Shire wide ratepayer base of approx. 10,000 ratepayers to shoulder.

    98% of us don’t see a cracker from the massive influx of Festival attendees who, collectively, are responsible for an enormous additional load on Byron’s crumbling infrastructure.

    COUNCIL: WAKE THE FUCK UP!

    The DAMAGE these people do is not our burden to shoulder! It must be added back to the Promoters and other local business who are the direct beneficiaries of these hoards of destructive locusts damaging our roads, increasing the amount of rubbish, traffic and additional traffic control, police presence, Emergency Services and Fire presence, etc.

    Enough Already! The Festival attendees along with the other tourists are the problem…
    We the Ratepayer SUCKERS are the solution to a Council without an ‘outside of the box’ thought in their collective heads.

    Council can think of new ways to spend OUR money- but are clueless on how to increase Council revenues besides paid parking! What is Council afraid of? Every recommendation put forth is knocked back…It makes you wonder if Council is beholden to Shire Residents or to the Festivals.

    Whose interests is Council looking out for???

    Perhaps Council should finance a school to teach the dwindling Koalas how to beg & busk for spare change on Jonson st. to go into Council’s coffers.

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