Splendour, Falls could get louder and residents aren't happy
A PROPOSAL by North Byron Parklands to increase its permitted noise levels has been met with outrage from community groups campaigning against the festival site.
Last week the Department of Planning and Environment fined North Byron Parklands $3000 for excessive noise during the Splendour in the Grass festival in July.
The fine was "paltry", Wooyung Action Group's Chris Cherry said.
"I'm sure that if it had been someone else destroying the rural villages' peace and quiet, they would have been stopped then and there and given a substantial fine," she said.
"The festival site owners were granted a five-year trial period to prove they could hold music events without negatively impacting the community and environment around the site.
"So far they have failed to demonstrate this. The fine is negligible to the promoters but it helps to validate the communities' collective concern that this type of noise pollution cannot be ignored."
According to the department's compliance report, noise levels at Jones Rd, Wooyung, reached 53 decibels during the Friday night headline act, despite approvals for noise being 35 to 43dB.
Residents' groups, including the Yelgun Progress Association, South Golden Beach Community Association and Conservation of North Ocean Shores, were also concerned that North Byron Parklands was attempting to have its noise limits increased rather than trying to operate within them.
"The North Byron Parklands takes all fines very seriously," general manager Mat Morris said.
The biggest problem for residents was the bass level or "bottom end" noise from the festival, he said.
There were no current restrictions on these in NSW but the North Byron Parklands had "put their hand up" and asked the department to set levels for these sounds.
Its proposal to the department also seeks an increase in upper-end noise levels.
The site's current restrictions were some of the lowest in the state and largely unworkable, Mr Morris said.
"Even before bands play we can breach these restrictions," he said.
Mr Morris said the specific noise levels requested had not been made public yet, but they were on par with what was allowable at other outdoor festivals.