COMING SOON: A family releasing a lantern at the Mojave desert in California During  a previous RiSE Festival.
COMING SOON: A family releasing a lantern at the Mojave desert in California During a previous RiSE Festival.

Why festival near Casino needs Federal Govt approval

THOUSANDS of lanterns could soon be flying into the sky near Casino if a new festival is given the go ahead by the Federal Government.

RiSE Festival is an international event, with the original USA festival being held in the Mojave Desert in California.

It involves thousands of lanterns being released, "giving a collective voice to our individual hopes and dreams in one beautiful display".

Organisers have been in contact with Richmond Valley Council to hold the festival in Fairy Hill, 48km west of Lismore and 11km north west of Casino.

A statement from Richmond Valley Council confirmed they were supporting the event.

"Council is fully supportive of this event as it would not only give a much-needed boost to local businesses, but also broaden exposure for the whole Richmond Valley," the council said.

"Fairy Hill was chosen because of its stability and consistency of weather, open space, safety, proximity to desirable holiday locations and the ability to attract interstate participants due to short distance to Queensland."

The inaugural Australia RiSE event was originally planned to happen this weekend.

But there has been one major problem.

Plans have been put on hold after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission informed RiSE, the event managers and council staff that the specific type of lantern used in the festival was banned in Australia.

The council said it believed the lantern festival would be held in a "tightly controlled area".

"Council has written to the Australian Government seeking an exemption from the ban to ensure Richmond Valley residents and the wider population have the opportunity to participate in this unique experience," the statement explains.

"Both RiSE and (event managers) CSM have assured Council the perceived risks would be kept to a bare minimum, as the lanterns are biodegradable and can only come down once the wick has gone out, meaning the lanterns come back without any burning parts.

"Not only are the lanterns made from 100 percent biodegradable rice paper, bamboo and string, but RiSE and CSM commit to collecting 99 percent of the lanterns within 72 hours of the event."

There has been no answer from the Federal Government yet regarding the exemption request.

CSM Sport & Entertainment Australia declined to comment but RiSE has been contacted for comment.

For details visit http://risefestival.com.au/



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