Byron United has applauded Byron Shire Council’s decision to back a trial Splendour in the Grass event at Yelgun in 2009.

Byron United president Ed Ahern said the council’s support for the 2009 event was a win for the festival organisers, business and the community.

“This trial event will enable council to evaluate the social, environmental and economic effects of moving festivals out of the town centre,” he said.

“While we’re confused by the Mayor’s lack of support on the day, we’re pleased that the majority judged this application on its merits, acknowledging the economic and cultural benefits of this event.

“We have long supported the event organisers, and recognise their real commitment to support the social and environmental values of our shire.”

Mr Ahern said Byron Shire needed a permanent festival site that supported music and cultural events in the region, while minimising the impact on residents and the environment.

“It makes sense to move a festival of this size away from a 16 acre site in the CBD to 680 acres on the outskirts of town,” he said.

Mr Ahern said the decision by Byron United to back the Yelgun event had followed site inspections and careful consideration of the application, objections and reports from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment and Climate Change, Roads and Traffic Authority and Department of Lands.

“The Yelgun site has suffered the fate of B-Doubles and bulldozing over the past few years” he said.

“The festival organisers have stressed their commitment to enhancing this site, and have already planted 4000 trees as part of an ongoing effort to restore the wildlife corridor.”