Good times, bad times: Dance parties promise a good time, but police, local authorities, neighbours and the environment suffer when legal obligations are ignored.
Good times, bad times: Dance parties promise a good time, but police, local authorities, neighbours and the environment suffer when legal obligations are ignored.

Man fined for unlawful doof party

A YOUNG man’s determination to carve out a career for himself as a doof party entrepreneur ended in debt and disgrace in the Byron Bay Local Court last week.

Daniel Shani, 24, defied Byron Shire Council’s repeated warnings that he needed development consent for such an event and staged a dance party at Red Devil Park on March 28 last year.

Shani had put himself into such a financial position that he felt forced to proceed with the party, his defence lawyer, Maurice Gilbert, said.

He had run up huge debts setting up the party, including paying thousands for overseas DJs, Mr Gilbert said.

But the event, dubbed the ‘Conquest Pool Party’, attracted only 250 people paying $40 each.

Shani’s financial woes deepened after he pleaded guilty to staging a development without the proper consent – a charge with a maximum penalty of $110,000.

He was fined $5000, $79 costs and $7058 professional costs and given 28 days to pay.

Shani was warned repeatedly that he would need a DA for the event planned for a Broken Head Road address.

The following Saturday, a council ranger noticed a dance party was under way at Red Devil Park with more than 100 cars parked along the road and in the school opposite, as well as marquees, two vans selling food and drinks, two large generators and a stage with speakers and a DJ.

Ralph James, lawyer for the council, said the event breached regulations concerning the sale of food, parking, noise and toilet facilities, among several others.

Shani had quit the entertainment business since the event and had returned to gainful employment, Magistrate Michael Dakin noted. But development controls existed for a very good reason, ‘not only for the amenity of the community, but for their safety as well’, he said.

Separately, Kyogle Council is still considering taking another doof party organiser to the NSW Land and Environment Court.

General manager Arthur Piggott said the council was seeking further legal advice and consulting with police before deciding on further action. The council had warned the organisers against holding the party, but it went ahead in early May with 2000 people showing up.

A man was killed by a car walking away from the doof after he had been refused entry.

Two days before the party, Kyogle Council issued a ‘prevention action’ on its organisers to try to stop it.

However, organisers continued with their plans, ‘undertaking an event that was a threat to public health and safety’, according to the council’s director of planning and environmental services, John Hession.

The council has issued nine penalty infringement notices to owners of the land on which the party was held, and to the party organiser.



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