Action taken against Splendour organisers

Ten schools will receive $10,000 each as part of the Department of Planning and Environment’s compliance action against Billinudgel Property for failing to comply with its traffic management plan at the 2022 Splendour in the Grass event.

A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment said the funding would be split between 10 primary and secondary schools within a 10-kilometre radius of the venue, and would be used at the schools’ discretion to make improvements.

“Traffic queuing resulted in short term, but significant traffic delays to the community, including school children travelling home from school on Thursday, 21 July 2022,” the spokesperson said.

“After considering all of the options available to us, we have decided that the best outcome for the community is for the company to contribute financially to improvements to nearby schools through an enforceable undertaking.”

The spokesperson said compliance was taken very seriously by the Department.

“We place strict conditions on events such as Splendour in the Grass for a reason, and organisers need to abide by them.”

Under its consent conditions, the company is required to carry out an independent audit of its event every three years.

The spokesperson said, as part of the Department’s action against the company, it had also required the company to undertake its next independent audit a year early.

“The independent auditor will consult with the event’s Regulatory Working Group, which includes representatives from the community, Tweed and Byron Shire Councils, Transport for NSW, Police and other relevant stakeholders,” they said.

“That independent audit will help determine whether other conditions were breached at this year’s event and, if that is the case, we will take further enforcement action if necessary.

“It will also provide recommendations to improve the existing environmental management plans in place.”

The Department expects to receive the independent auditor’s report and the company’s response to recommendations early next year.

The spokesperson indicated that, in the meantime, Billinudgel Property needs to review and update its management plans ahead of its Falls Festival scheduled to be held over New Years.

“Our compliance officers will once again be on the ground at that festival, to ensure those revised plans are followed,” they said.

The following schools will receive $10,000 each within four weeks of the beginning of Term 1 2023: Pocket Public School, Brunswick Heads Public School, Mullumbimby Public School, Burringbar Public School, Ocean Shores Public School, Crabbes Creek Public School, Bogangar Public School, St Ambrose Catholic Primary School Pottsville, Shearwater, the Mullumbimby Steiner School, and St John’s Primary School Mullumbimby.

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