13.2 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Franklin fights own government over festivals

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

Over population

Boyd Kellner, Newrybar ‘Over population’ is seen by some as the main destructive driver causing many crises besetting the planet today. From...

Interview with Dave Callan

Dave Callan is a big hairy Irish bloke. He’s funny. You would have seen him on Rove and heard him on Triple J – but now you get to see him dance! With backup dancers and a show full of spectacular choreography and a hairy Viking, catch A–Z of Dance at Byron Comedy Fest. Dave told us a little more…

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Augmented Reality gives local art exhibition a high-tech twist

A Byron Bay art gallery is seeking to bring paintings to life in its new exhibition, by making Augmented Reality technology part of the experience.

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Mullum Music Festival could be next in the firing line under the state government’s draconian new legislation. File photo

North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin has revealed he is at odds with his own Coalition government over the state’s controversial ‘high risk’ festival policy.

Meanwhile his rival candidate for the state seat of Ballina, Asren Pugh, has claimed that even Mullum Music Festival could be in the government’s firing line.

Previously it was thought that so-called ‘high risk’ festivals were limited to those that include onsite camping and alcohol sales, such as Bluesfest, Splendour, Falls and Tropical Fruits.

Mr Franklin said he has been ‘concerned with the potential changes to festival regulations and the impact that they could have on long standing and very successful festivals in our community’.

‘I have called many of the festival operators in our area and given them my assurance that I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are not impacted by any of the proposed changes’, he said.

Mr Franklin added that he had ‘spoken to the premier on this issue many times over the last couple of months, both in person and over the phone’.

But it appears those calls have fallen on deaf ears.

Uncooperative: AFA

In a statement issued after a meeting with premier Berejiklian last week, the Australian Festival Association (AFA) said it had been informed the government will not change its position on the implementation of new licensing rules from next Friday’.

‘Despite the industry’s willingness to work constructively with government on these issues, the premier’s approach to the festival industry has been an uncooperative and heavy-handed “put up or shut down”,’ the AFA added.

Mr Pugh has meanwhile lashed out at Mr Franklin, saying, ‘the truth is that the Nationals can’t and won’t stand up to the Liberals in Sydney’.

Direct attack

He described the policy as, ‘a direct attack by the Liberals and Nationals on our community, on our local economy and on people, young and old, that just want to have a good time.

‘Our region is the festival capital of Australia and we need a government that will support live music, not kill it,’ he added.

He said Labor would ‘work with the industry to support live music festivals’ and’ consult with festivals and relevant government agencies about a licensing regime’.

He said any costs borne by festivals should be ‘subject to full transparency and negotiated ahead of time’, there should be ‘a clear understanding of the impact of the licensing on festivals’ and proposed ‘harm minimisation measures for festivals including adequate on-site emergency care, and appropriate policing’.

He stopped short of advocating pill testing at festivals, although he has said previously that he would support it being ‘considered as part of drug summit’ if Labor wins office.

Mr Pugh told Echonetdaily that festivals such as Mullum Music Fest, which takes place in the town and Tropical Fruits, which involves DJs playing recorded music, would be eligible for support under Labor’s new live music policy.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.