Bluesfest will remain in Byron Bay.
In a letter, Sam Haddad, the Director General of the NSW Governments Planning and Infrastructure department advised, “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.”
Had the plan not been rejected, Australia’s award winning music festival Bluesfest would have departed Byron Bay for a new location in Queensland. “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,” says Bluesfest’s Peter Noble.
Bluesfest 2012 feature Earth, Wind and Fire for the first time ever in Australia as well as a special performance from John Fogerty playing the albums of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
“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,” he said.
Almost $10 million of investment had been put into the Tyagarah Tea Tree farm Bluesfest site.
“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.
Bluesfest will go ahead at the Tyagarah Tea Tree site again in 2013 across the Easter long weekend between March 28 and April 1, 2013.