Council opts out of Splendour trial challenge

BYRON Council won’t be taking an active part in the legal challenge against its approval of a trial Splendour in the Grass at Yelgun.

Instead, the council has told the Land and Environment it will adopt a watching brief and abide by the court’s findings.

Acting general manager, Ray Darney, said the council would have a solicitor following proceedings in the court, scheduled to start on February 16.

He said if there were any changes to the evidence the council might take a more active role.

Environmental group CONOS – Conservation of North Ocean Shores – which initiated the action and which is being represented in court by the Environmental Defender’s Office, said the council’s decision meant it would be left to Splendour organisers to defend the court action.

CONOS president Bob Oehlman said it was disappointing that the council’s decision to approve the Splendour trial had left the community with no other choice than to challenge it through the court.

Mr Oehlman said the council’s decision not to be part of the proceedings at least gave ratepayers some reprieve.

He said much public time and money had gone into the protection and enhancement of the biodiversity of the area.

It seemed absurd that the council had allowed Splendour to ‘bulldoze and permanently disfigure the vulnerable wildlife corridor that links the coastal environment to the hinterland environment in one of the most biodiverse regions in Australia’.

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