Bluesfest organiser Peter Noble is frustrated by Byron Shire Council’s delay in making a decision on his application to extend the festival by one day next year. Cathy Adams
Bluesfest organiser Peter Noble is frustrated by Byron Shire Council’s delay in making a decision on his application to extend the festival by one day next year. Cathy Adams Cathy Adams

Bob Dylan decision in limbo

THE PREMIER Kristina Keneally and Major Events Minister Kevin Greene were yesterday reluctant to wade into Bluesfest’s stoush with Byron Shire Council regarding a second Bob Dylan concert.

The council voted last Friday to defer until February a decision on Bluesfest’s application to extend the festival one day to accommodate a second Bob Dylan concert.

Local Government Minister Barbara Perry though, did respond to questions from The Northern Star calling on Byron Shire Council ‘to work with the local community to resolve this as soon as possible’.

Bluesfest director Peter Noble is flabbergasted after being told by staff in early November that the decision should only take a few weeks.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said yesterday that staff were working to finish their report to council by Friday but at this stage an extraordinary meeting probably wouldn’t be possible until early January.

Ballina MP Don Page said the delay was totally unreasonable and council needed to perform better for the local economy.

“There’s potentially an extra $3m coming into the local economy from the extra day and I’d have thought a relatively straightforward variation for an event as well run as Bluesfest should be able to be expedited much more quickly,” he said.

Mr Noble said he appreciated assistance from Cr Barham and executive planning manager Ray Darney but blamed the situation on a ‘couple of activist councillors’ who didn’t have the best interests of the wider community at heart. On a lighter note, he denied the extra day was also to accommodate a Jethro Tull drum solo.


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