Shock! MardiGrass to ignore law

DA or no DA, it appears organisers of this year's MardiGrass are going ahead with the event.

MardiGrass organisers are required to submit a DA to Council prior to the event to ensure some activities can go ahead, but when The Echo contacted the Nimbin HEMP Embassy the response was that they had "decided not to put one in".

That may come as a surprise to Lismore City Council, who indicated staff were currently negotiating with organisers.

"The organisers of MardiGrass 2012 have been in discussions with Lismore City Council regarding the extent of the activities proposed, the requirement for approval for this year's event, and the timing required for an application to be considered by Council prior to the event being held," a Council spokesperson said. "Council expects that an application will be lodged shortly, and that it will be placed on public exhibition for comment prior to being assessed by Council staff."

Despite the uncertainty over the DA, tickets are on sale for this year's event, and already the HEMP Embassy has issued a press release talking about new events such as a Rubbish Bong Race (making a bong from found objects) and a MardiGrass Skatejam.

"There are changes, but nothing is written in ink yet and we are still negotiating with Lismore Council over technical demands and details," the HEMP Embassy release stated. "Sibley Street may be closed this year and the glorious new skate park has halved the traditional HEMP Olympix Arena, but the real point of MardiGrass, cannabis law reform, remains more real than ever.

"Tuesday, May 1, we begin our protest this year with a march from the Lismore Court House where so many lives are sentenced by the drug war, to the Police Station (next door), Federal MP Janelle Saffin's office, and finally local NSW MP Thomas George's office where letters will be delivered asking for change on the cannabis laws."

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