HAS Sir Elton John been blasted like a rocket man out of Byron Bay?
Renowned concert promoter Michael Chugg said yesterday he planned to put an Elton John concert at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, home to Bluesfest, in November this year.
"I would point out that my company had spoken to Mr (Peter) Noble about using the Bluesfest site for a concert with Sir Elton John in November this year 2012 but the ridiculous short-sighted policy of the council has once again seen a major event go to regional Queensland," Mr Chugg posted on the Bluesfest website.
The Byron Shire Council had submitted a Planning Proposal to amend the Local Environment Plan (LEP) to include a major events clause.
The clause would limit outdoor music events exceeding 6000 patrons, participants and staff to a maximum of two per year, of any duration.
"Yes, we did lose Elton John," Bluesfest director Peter Noble told The Northern Star.
"We put $4m into our site because the council said they supported us.
"They led us down the garden path and then stabbed us in the back. It's not fair."
Mr Noble said events were not profitable with the restrictions proposed in the LEP.
"We only need a little over 500 signatures to get the petition debated on the floor of the State parliament," Mr Noble posted on the Bluesfest website yesterday.
"We have almost 9500 individual petitions lodged so far and need 10,000 to get this crucial thing done.
"Now that the Splendour site in Byron Shire has been given an approval to hold three major events on their land by the NSW State Government - the festival quota in Byron Shire under the events policy of two festivals yearly is taken up and if the council does not amend its policy, we would need to move away from Byron shire once our current approval expires in 2020."
Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham was in a council meeting yesterday and unavailable for comment.
The submissions report following the public exhibition for the proposed major events clause is on the agenda for the Byron Shire Council strategic planning committee meeting on Thursday in Mullumbimby.
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