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Byron Shire
December 9, 2022

Dening Park and dune bashing

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In 2021 a group of local musicians were given Council permission to hold a ‘once only’ festival in Dening Park, owing to covid restrictionss.

Now, this week, we have the same group, calling themselves the Byron Music Festival, applying to use Dening Park for a second time, because they can’t find ‘anywhere else’. And despite concerns for this fragile site, it’s been approved – again! So much for a ‘one-off’ and so much for our concerns over site damage.

Dening Park is actually our old dune front, levelled and lawned for public use. These dunes do the important job of absorbing storm surges and minimising coastal erosion. They are our best defence against the inland progression of the sea. To save our town and our beach we should be protecting and rehabilitating our dunes. Most coastal towns are doing just that.

Yet in Byron Bay, we seem hellbent on using our dunes for recreational purposes – public parks, car parks, events and festivals. What this means is that the dunes can no longer fulfil their natural role as beach protector, and in the long run we risk having no beach at all. Science, coastal research, and history back me in making these statements by the way!

In the meantime, we also have the monthly Community Markets using Dening Park. This has been going on since 2019 and was, again, meant to be ‘temporary’.

Well, I’m sorry, didn’t The Echo note recently that Council had received a grant for dune restoration and rehabilitation at Main Beach?

Can anyone else see the contradictions here with Council’s actions? On the one hand they approve more and more activities for this most fragile of coastal zones, an area that should be protected and bolstered, while on the other hand they spend scant funds to address the damage these activities and events cause. The more feet on the dunes, the more they are undermined and destabilised. No dunes; no town protection; no beach.

When are we going to put our ‘heritage’ environment first? This environment we say we love and respect – yet seem happy to trample on and destroy!

Jan Hackett, Byron Bay


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2 COMMENTS

  1. get over it , let them have their fun like when we were younger and you didn’t need council approval to do this kind of thing.

    the concert is in a park, there’s trees and grass holding the sand together, last time I checked there’s already hundreds of people there all the time and it hasn’t collapsed or degraded into the sea.

    what is with this shire and the constant whinging and wining

    • What a silly, aggressive reply to such a clearly articulated position. I’m sure young people can have fun at a more suitable location that – shock horror – might not be right on the beach!

      What is it with people in this shire who see “what I want to do” as a far superior priority to science and reality.

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