11th-hour court order quashes NYE festival near Casino

A NEW Year's Eve festival at Busbys Flat, south-west of Casino, has been shut down just hours before it was due to start.

Richmond Valley Council obtained orders from the Land & Environment Court to prevent the Indigo Evolution New Year's Eve Arts & Music Festival due to the high risks posed by potential bushfires, an on-site dam and drug driving.

CEO John Walker said council was concerned for the health and safety of party goers and road users if the three-day festival went ahead.

"The organisers have neither sought nor obtained approval from council and the police have raised safety concerns in regards to a dam that has been constructed on the property," he said.

"A previous application for an event was refused due to the high risk posed from bushfires and concerns from the police.

"Unfortunately that event went ahead and police arrested a substantial number of party goers for drug driving."

Mr Walker said council was not opposed to a festival but needed to be confident it would be conducted safely.

The organisers of the festival said a private gathering of family and friends would be held on the private land in the wake of the court order.

"In the advent of Third Eye Productions having received a court order to cease its new year's festival, One Mob Collective chose to utilise the infrastructure and resources for a private event," organisers said in a statement.

"Unlike most private parties, gatherings and events, One Mob Collective has provided to their family and friends licensed security personnel, medical doctor on-site, qualified first aid providers, dedicated medical tent, shade and shelter, clean drinking water in abundance, plenty of toilets and regular cleaning, swimming hole to cool down in heat, qualified lifeguards for the swimming hole (and a) all-ages family gathering.

"One Mob Collective is hopeful that common sense will prevail and that private gatherings may be conducted on private land without unreasonable interference from authorities."

Mr Walker said the council would follow through with court action if the festival proceeded.



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