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Events Policy thrown out! Options
Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012 6:26:03 PM
Rank: Administration
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Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 30
Points: 564,112
Location: Byron Bay
Byron Shire Events Policy Refused By State Government
Great Win for Byron’s Art & Democracy Loving Community of Byron Shire!

Friday 06 July 2012
The Director General of the NSW Governments Planning and Infrastructure department, Sam Haddad has written this week to the General Manager of Byron Shire Council, July 1, 2012 and advised as follows:

“I am writing in response to your letter dated 25 May requesting that the Planning Proposal for Byron LEP 1988 – Amendment No 151 to be made.
Under delegation from the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, I have decided under s59(2)(b) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, that the Byron Shire proposed “Major Events’ Clause, should not proceed.
I have formed the opinion that the proposal is not in the public interest, I believe matters of concern to the Council can adequately be assessed through the normal development application process.”
Peter Noble, the director of Bluesfest, Australia’s iconic Music Festival, as well as the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm Events site in Byron Shire has stated today:
“This is a great win for our arts loving anti-censorship community as well as for those that believe in democracy and the rule of law in Australia”.
“The Byron Events Policy and its attempt to incorporate it within the soon to be replaced NSW 1988 Local and Environment plan (LEP) was a move by those councillors who tried to overcome the rule of Law and impose their own criteria. The Byron Events Policy, which was dusted off the shelf by certain current Byron Councillors, who updated an old Policy, originally created around the turn of the Millennium, and which was meant to contain the use of “DOOFS” (illegal all night electronic dance music raves which no longer occur) in forests and on beaches within the shire, and apply it as a kneejerk reaction to the purchase in the North of Byron shire of an events site, years later, and apply a shire wide events Policy that banned the presentation of amplified music where more than 5000 people attended for no more than 2 events a year, including one day concerts, was always illegal” Peter Noble said.
Over 4 years, and the 3 times the Policy was placed on public display asking for submissions, the vast majority of them lodged objected to the Policy including more than 13,500 petitions signed objections to the policy all up!
A 10,078 signature petition was lodged at the most recent council meeting in May against the Policy, by Bluesfest which included thousands of signatures and statements from people who live and / or also work in Byron Shire that those councillors who are the opponents of the Byron Events Policy chose to completely ignore.

Mr Noble stated that his company entered into an agreement in around 2002 with the then Mayor and Councillors of Byron Shire to provide private investment for an event site in the shire to meet the needs of our community for the presentation of Bluesfest, as well as other events now, as well as for generations to come, only to find the current council ignored prior undertakings and agreements by those who held office before them. He stated that it has cost him almost $100,000 to fight the Byron Events Policy over the past 4 years, through getting ongoing barristers and planning consultant’s advice. That advice given to Byron Shire Council clearly stated that the Policy, as well as the intention to join it to the 1988 LEP was illegal because it was beyond councils powers.
Noble stated his investment in the Tyagarah Tea Tree farm site placed at risk almost 10 Million dollars invested in buying the site and putting infrastructure on it and that he had placed his live savings as well as took loans on the site which he felt were done with councils support and in good faith.

Mr Noble’s attorneys have continuously questioned Byron Council as to why they have not obtained their own legal advice regarding the illegality of this policy over the past 4 years, and why the majority of elected councillors have not voted for this to be done, to protect rate payers and our community who has voted for them. Noble has called today upon councillors to vote for an audit of the cost to the community’s rate payers of the 4 years of the continuous work on the Policy, knowing they had advice regarding the illegality of the policy and it’s attempt to align it to the 1988 LEP, at a time when the council was supposed to be working on the 2012 Local and Environment Plan (LEP) which he believes has been delayed as a result.
Byron Shire Councils Planning Department has always advised Councillors during the term of the current council to obtain comprehensive legal advice about the potential illegality of the Policy on each and every time they have given Planning Advice and of the divisiveness within our community, and the potential breach of the Australian Competition & Consumer law it contained.

“Everyone in Byron Shire who loves the Arts, who is anti-censorship is pro-democracy and who believes they have the right to place a development application, be it for a swimming pool , building, anything, and expected it to be judged on its merits has had a huge win today. The attempt was to take away, the basic democratic right of any Australian, if they did not agree with the local government determination for their application and to then decide to go to the Land & Environment court and have their application heard in front of a judge where they may prevail if they felt unjustly treated” Noble stated.
Noble stated that Byron Council now needs to totally re-write the Policy, or better still start all over again from the ground up and make it inclusive for all Arts groups in Byron Shire and to finally consult properly with them in the future, which has never occurred to this date, and most importantly to address the current difficulty of lodging any Event Development Application at any level in Byron Shire for the presentation of any type of performances in the arts.
“The current costs required to create Development Applications at any level, big or small, and to comply, as well as the time delays for approval is prohibitive to the ongoing presentation of the Arts in Byron Shire” Noble said. He cited the $5000 cost to prepare for lodgement by consultants the Boomerang Indigenous Arts Festival, directed by renowned Indigenous Arts Director Rhoda Roberts and presented by the non-profit charitable group the “Jimmy Little” foundation, in order to comply with requirements, and the need for council to develop better methods to show real support for the live arts in Byron Shire. This application was lodged with Byron Council recently and has been taken back and is now in front of the GM and Councillors due to the prohibitive costs applied to a non-profit charitable organisations events application, with a request to reduce charges for this event as an act of good will for reconciliation”.

He also stated that an Arts presentation in Shires surrounding Byron, as well as in most parts of Australia, takes only a matter of days or weeks to get an approval, whilst in Byron Shire it can take between 6 months and 2 years, and condemned the timelines as an absolute deterrent to the presentation of the Arts currently in Byron shire.
“Byron shire contains more people on a percentage basis to population involved in the Creative Industries than anywhere else in Australia and they need to be acknowledged, respected and have their interests advanced by Council NOW” Noble said.

Noble also stated that he has never had an intention of presenting multiple Rock Music festivals at the Tyagarah site; however he says that the banning of one day concerts in the Events Policy has now been overcome, or can be in a court of law, and looks forward to concerts such as the one by Elton John which was to have taken place later this year occurring one day to the Shires cultural & financial benefit.

And although Elton John on his next Australian Tour will be playing in a small Queensland city in one of Australia’s wealthy mining centres, and not in Byron Shire, he is pleased to hear from Michael Chugg, his Tour promoter in Australia that Elton looks forward to finally being able to play for his fans in the Byron region in future, and that it is fantastic to be advised, that not only is he good enough to play the Diamond Jubilee for the Queen of England, he can now also perform for the Queens of Byron.

The Byron Events Policy, as it existed, which had no equal in Australia in terms of its restrictions will now soon be history and the Arts and music loving community of Byron is rejoicing.

For Media Enquiries please contact:
61 (0)2 6685 9714 or 61 (0)2 6699 3437

Ph: 61 (0) 2 6685 8310
Fax: 61 (0) 2 6685 8370

And as a personal note: Thank you so much every one for all your support.
Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2012 12:08:04 PM
Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: 10/19/2008
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Fantastic news.
Logic prevails.
The fact that the council has not obtained competent legal advice on the matter,is bizarre.
There are legal practices specialising in public law who could have been consulted.
I expect to now see a voter backlash in the next local body elections.
Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause

"An artist never really chooses when and where they will play.It is for promoters to make offers.It comes down as to whether tours are financially viable." Quote John Mayall.
Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2012 3:22:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: 5/16/2011
Posts: 227
Points: -31,935
Location: Everywhere and nowhere...
No - the conservatives 'must' have their way.
They will 'not' accept a snub like this.
Every conservative minded person who has made their millions
out of Byron Bay and hinterland real estate will 'not' take this lightly.
It will be Double Bay by the coast at all and any cost.
Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2012 3:34:19 PM
Rank: Administration
Groups: Administration

Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 674
Points: -1,744
It is the Greens on council who tried to stop Bluesfest, and hinder it for many years now - plus one guy to the left of the Greens - and one egomaniac.
the Conservatives on council totally BACK BLUESFEST EVERY TIME IN THEIR VOTES
Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2012 3:48:26 PM
Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 10/19/2008
Posts: 3,867
Points: 9,317
Location: 46* South
You should not have to set the record straight.
Freexone needs to study the appropriate thread on the subject.
A council seeking to keep its commercial rate payers happy would encourage Bluesfest and other such music events.
That is because of the substantial dollars those attending the festival spend in the shire.

"An artist never really chooses when and where they will play.It is for promoters to make offers.It comes down as to whether tours are financially viable." Quote John Mayall.
Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2012 3:57:22 PM
Rank: Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 3/5/2011
Posts: 24
Points: 72
At last! What a blessed relief to all but the influential naysayers who have allowed this issue to drag on unnecessarily...
Well done to all closely involved, the major artists who put their behind the cause and the thousands of live music-loving supporters who kept the pressure on to achieve this outcome. Thank goodness Mr Noble and the Bluesfest team can put this time-wasting, stressful and expensive issue to rest, enjoy a day or two well-earned respite and get on with the mammoth task of planning future events.
Here's to a future in the Byron Shire filled with regular high quality well run live music events!

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