Ocean Shores meeting mainly opposed

The public hearing into the proposed events site met at Ocean Shores Public School.
The public hearing into the proposed events site met at Ocean Shores Public School. Kate O’Neill

RESIDENTS afraid of losing their "quiet and peaceful" village life gathered at Ocean Shores yesterday to voice opposition to the North Byron Parklands Proposal.

The Ocean Shores public school hall hosted the second of two public meetings addressing the Yelgun site development proposal.

Late last year, the State Government recommended approval of the project, which would include three major events per year of up to 30,000 patrons but with a capacity for 50,000 people and other minor events.

It would also become the new home for the Splendour in the Grass festival, which was moved to Queensland two years ago.

The Independent Planning Assessment Commission chaired the public meetings after being given the task of making the final decision on the proposal.

A big majority of speakers were opposed to the North Byron Parklands proposal yesterday. Opponents were also in the majority at Wednesday's meeting at Byron Bay, although there were more supporters of the plan there than at Ocean Shores.

A Yelgun resident told the audience yesterday she and her husband had moved to their Jones Rd property in search of a quiet, rural lifestyle, which would be jeopardised by the event site.

She highlighted noise pollution and lack of community consultation with the NSW Department of Planning among her concerns.

Another woman, from New Brighton, said she worried festival-goers not staying at the Yelgun site would end up staying on the streets and beaches around Ocean Shores.

Byron Shire Council director of planning Ray Darney spoke against the proposal highlighting the environmental impacts on the site's wildlife corridor and the traffic implications.

Jan Mangleson, president of the Ocean Shores Community Association, backed the proposal saying the predicted creation of 130 jobs would make Parklands the biggest employer in Ocean Shores, with increased economic flow-on effects.

This was met by shouting from the audience and a walkout.

Northern Rivers Tourism chairman Cameron Arnold agreed and said it was very difficult for young people to find jobs in this area.



Topics:  ocean shores

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