When I started on Council I received many emails each week from upset and angry residents affected by rural weddings. These days, through the work of staff, a lot of these problems have been resolved and I don’t get any.
Some impacts included cars dangerously parked, loud music and fireworks causing cattle to run out onto roads – it was terrible. If weddings are going to exist (which they are – and are arguably permissible in RU1, RU2, and RU5 as a temporary use under the current LEP), they need a strict registration system, wiping out inappropriate sites and leaving a very limited number of well-managed venues that have the least impact on local residents. Otherwise, they’ll keep happening, neighbours will still struggle, and there will be no security for the industry that employs so many locals such as caterers, photographers, celebrants, florists, hairdressers, make-up artists, musicians, wait staff, and more.
Apparently Byron’s the second biggest destination for weddings in Australia.
Many locals rely on our wedding industry, and households find it hard enough to keep their heads above water as it is.
The wedding industry does not have to compromise the environment or rural amenity.
The RU1 option may not make it through the DPI but I think interested people should have the chance to make their case.
RU1 properties are generally much larger lots so less likely to impact on others and weddings can provide a secondary income to support the farm.
I would like to add that so many fantastic things passed in the last council meeting that the community would be really interested in knowing about – the former Byron hospital, bike paths, support for our homeless, a bioenergy facility, and a public discussion about 5G to name a few.
It seems strange these stories weren’t covered by The Echo as well.
Cr Sarah Ndiaye (Greens)