State overrides Byron Council
THE State Government's refusal of Byron Shire Council's proposed Events Policy has been welcomed by Bluesfest director Peter Noble, .
"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," Mr Noble declared.
The council received a letter from the NSW Government's Planning and Infrastructure department last week. It stated that Byron Shire's proposed Main Events clause, restricting the amplified music attended by more than 6000 people to two events a year, was not in the public interest.
Mr Noble said the policy was merely an amendment to one applied at the turn of the millenium, intended to control illegal all-night doofs.
He said that over the course of four years, the overwhelming majority of submissions regarding the policy had been against it.
Council's acting executive manager of environment and planning, Sharyn French, said in the wake of the decision, the council would continue to work for a sustainable Byron community.
"Council appreciates that… there is a range of views on how to best protect and enhance the shire's unique environment, resident amenity and sustainable tourism," she said. "Council's position is that it wants to work with the wider community to ensure we get the balance right."