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Byron Shire
February 8, 2023

A precedent for mega events in the shire?

Latest News

Iron Gates development in Evans Head land owners go into administration – again

The Iron Gates development, that is on flood- and fire-prone land near Evans Head, has been fought by the community for over 30 years. The current company that owns the site, Goldcoral Pty Ltd whose director is Graeme Ingles, has now been placed into administration.

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A tribute for Richard Moloney

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At the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) public meeting at Ocean Shores on 28 August to hear the views of the community on North Byron Parkland’s (Splendour in the Grass ‘Festival’) request for an extension to their five year Trial DA, many submissions were presented by concerned community members about the impacts of these mega festivals on wildlife, community integrity, and the local music industry.

The attendance at the meeting of  Ballina MP Tamara Smith, deputy Byron shire mayor Basil Cameron and Cr Cate Coorey was appreciated.

It’s a shame mayor Simon Richardson, and Byron Shire Greens councillors, weren’t there to hear the submissions, including the professional ecological and economic critiques which demolished many of the developer’s claims about the economic, social and environmental benefits of these mega events to the community.

The  submissions, which are available on the PAC website, highlighted the many negative impacts of these events on the environment, community and economy.

There are questions, which were not answered, about whether the corporation has adequate insurance cover.

Many submissions were far from glowing and contradicted Cr Richardson’s view that ‘I’m not sure how much more successful North Parklands could be’.

They seem to have been successful at making huge profits, but at what cost to the environment and community?

During the five year trial of the Parkland’s DA there have been numerous documented serious breaches of the consent conditions placed on this DA.

If the noise impact on residents is insufferable, what must it be doing to the wildlife?

That the people who attend these mega events think it’s appropriate to leave acres of rubbish behind, speaks volumes about the lack of respect they have for our environment and community.

It’s no accident that this area is still a beautiful place, though too crowded, which millions of people from all over the world want to visit.

Without the decades of hard work by so many locals, this shire could easily have been another Gold Coast, with cheek by jowl high rise buildings with little room for a tree, let alone wildlife corridors.

The developers exploiting this shire, and using the Byron brand as a marketing tool, are cashing in on this hard work, but don’t value or respect the community or our precious environment.

Cr Richardson was right when he said ‘This community will not sit by and watch its housing stock disappear, its amenities disappear and its cultural and community integrity disappear’.

As Cr Richardson also said ‘we are a community: we are more than lighthouses, beaches and cafes’. I would also add: this community will not sit by while our precious environment and cultural heritage is destroyed.

Cr Richardson’s comments apply equally to the Parkland’s mega development as they do to the West Byron Development and the Bangalow Food Hub.

They are all way over the top, don’t stack up under close scrutiny, and more than our small community can bear.

Unlike the West Byron and Bangalow developments, the Splendour in the Grass development was found by the Land and Environment Court as not suitable for this environmentally sensitive land.

The court found the development is properly characterised as a temporary place of assembly, which is prohibited use in Byron Shire Council’s Habitat Protection Zone.

The PAC was set up by the dodgy Labor Government (two former ministers are now in gaol with more to follow) specifically to override local planning policy, communities and the Land and Environment Court.

Greens MLC and planning spokesperson David Shoebridge recently derided the PAC as ‘little more than a rubber stamp’ for developments, and this community would agree.

Council and the community need to demand the PAC be abolished as promised by Barry O’Farrell prior to the 2011 election.

Once the precedent for these mega events has been set in Byron Shire where will it all end?

What’s to stop other corporates jumping on this lucrative bandwagon?

Will there be a West Byron Parklands and a South Byron Parklands?

There could be a mega event coming to your backyard.

Louise Doran, Ocean Shores

 


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A tribute for Richard Moloney

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