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Byron Shire
June 4, 2023

Parklands holds Byron community in contempt

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North Byron Parklands now seeks to ensure that the Yelgun festival site will be given consent as a state significant development, for permanency.  Their preliminary application details approval will be sought for 12 events with up to 50,000 patrons and 8 events with up to 25,000 patrons annually.

Given the fact that the Blues now has consent for l00 days of festivals it is becoming very clear that this beautiful Shire, its unique natural assets and residents will pay a very heavy price for the efforts to establish Byron Shire as the festival capitol of the east coast.

There is no cost benefit analysis in terms of the social and amenity cost to residents. It was pretty clear from the last Splendour that the increased numbers resulted in a disastrous

traffic jam with many people left for hours late at night on site. Noise, impacts on wildlife, drug arrests, clogged roads, packed cafes, trashed beaches, no parking, traffic gridlock. Its almost impossible to imagine what the Shire can become.

Ratepayers are being asked to fork out huge increases at a time when mega festival owners are using their power, political influence and money to irrevocably change Byron to suit their pockets and their vision for Byron whilst ratepayers fund the infrastructure.

I’ve travelled to some of the most beautiful places on Earth and witnessed the destruction of these sanctuaries by big money and greed.

Once upon a time it was a lot of fun to look forward to the annual Bluesfest and Splendour. But one or two good festivals was not enough for these corporations.

With the recent passing of legislation by the Baird government, which allows wholesale land clearing and immense loss of protection for wildlife, the ramifications for Billinudgel creatures if this approval goes ahead will be extinction.

In bypassing council, Parklands makes clear its contempt for the Byron community.

We are living in a time where the people have no rights and politicians are there to ensure big money is not inhibited by legislation or protest.

Byron is at a crossroads and the mega festivals proposed by Parklands must be an injunction for residents to do everything within our power to ensure that our Shire remains a place of sanctuary.


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  1. Why the rush are they going to on sell to some big corporation. We are paying for there use of our home. This does not sit well with me. Also we are now being told increased rates. What do they pay? What about water, sewerage, food, I believe the Christmas Festival makes it chaos in shopping centers. How much more traffic will we have to deal with.
    Another worry is how will they get the punters of site in fire or flood. Could they be trapped with increased numbers. This is a worrying situation.

  2. SUE Arnold..Very well articulated in your Writing of this immense concern in VChange of Byron Bay Shire…The Nature is destroyed. I was a Rate Payer of Julian Rocks. Sold my garden
    Due to broken glass & Human faeces. .The Shire smells…Tourists “trashing:
    Kind regards ex of 42 Julian Rocks..

  3. Why the Byron Shire is not making any money is because the marketing for tourists is down-market. The tourists in economic terms are very much like the residents, so there is no profit gap from residents to the tourist dollar.
    The tourist that should be marketed to are the well-healed, the people who go to art galleries and go to restaurants and drink top class wines. Beer is for the lower-middle classes.
    But Byron Shire did not get the Roundhouse Art Gallery off the ground at Ocean Shores. The main Art galleries are now at Murwillumbah and soon to be opened is the $5million Lismore Art Gallery. They will gain all the money market, while down at Byron the shire will tune in to low-base dollar market and the counting of cents
    When that happens to make more money you need more people who through crowd and traffic jams use and deteriorate the infrastructure.
    And to upgrade the infrastucture is to increase the rates on residents.

  4. I think it’s short sighted and convenient to say that the two festivals at Parklands and Blues are the cause of declining shire infrastructure and rising rates. The declining infrastructure of Byron Shire goes back way further than Falls Byron Bay and Splendour.
    Have you considered the impact that Schoolies has on our shire across the 3 weeks it takes place? Or the local markets that cause traffic mayhem on Ewingsdale Road and Shirley St every single time they’re on. Thanks to Schoolies, traffic was in gridlock in Byron just yesterday and that’s not really unusual. It happens most days in summer thanks to the day to day, all-year-round, non-stop, tourism. And the cafes were packed too! Not because of a music festival but because of Schoolies. The festivals are an easy target but the reality is that they are a small part of a much larger problem in relation to poor long term infrastructure planning by previous decision makers at Byron Council.


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