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Byron Shire
August 14, 2022

Splendour in chaos

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As a local resident of Wooyung I have watched North Byron Parklands (NBP) increasing their patronage to the maximum of 50,000 patrons on site, which is not sustainable for a number of reasons.

1) Access roads are not made to handle such a volume. NBP would need their own exit lane from M1 through the two roundabouts at Yelgun and onto their site.

2) Big chunks of NBP are on a floodplain that frequently floods. In fact it was flooded totally in July 2020, during the time when Splendour would have happened. This year the grounds have not really dried out since summer, therefore it was to be expected to get extremely muddy, especially with the long-term weather forecasts we had. 

3) The traffic chaos this year illustrates the difficulties the site has when dealing with any weather event and one can only imagine the problems that would occur if there would be a real need to evacuate in wet weather! How would it be possible to get thousands of bogged cars off the site? If people would have to leave their cars and belongings behind and be evacuated by bus this would be at a great expense for the punters and for the environment. If it takes up to 12 hours to let all the people in, how long does it take to get them out again?

4) We had less than 100mm of rain during this event. How would the organisers handle a huge deluge? They really have only one way out which is their front gate onto Tweed Valley Way. Their other exit onto Wooyung Road is not practical because as people turn left it leads onto a wooden one-lane bridge (!) feeding onto Tweed Valley Way, and if they turn right they get stopped by the floodwaters farther down Wooyung Road. Therefore most people would be trapped.

NBP is not really a site fit for 50,000. Why don’t they rent the Blues Festival site not only for camping in wet weather but also for their festivals? At least the Tyagarah site seems to handle wet conditions a bit better!

And really, do we need two huge festival sites in one shire?

Gisela Stieglitz 

Wooyung

Splendour in chaos


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