By Jackson Russell
THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE BEING PUBLISHED IN OUR JANUARY 7, 2020 EDITION DUE TO A FACTUAL ERROR INCORRECTLY PROVIDED TO THE REVIEW.
An amended planning permit for Our Friends Farm in Tallarook was approved by Mitchell Shire councillors at the final meeting of 2019.
The changes to the existing permit corrected an administrative oversight regarding the event for Labour Day weekend as well as better defined operating hours and sound monitoring.
Councillors were divided on the amendment, and Mayor David Lowe used his casting vote for the matter to be approved.
Under the conditions approved by council, music may be played between 10am and 1am on opening nights and during festivals. The final night of every event will finish at midnight.
On New Year’s Eve, music can be played between 10am and 3am. This is the only exception to the above.
Council also resolved to eliminate a duplication of noise controls by removing a condition without eroding standards.
A new requirement of the permit will see organisers conduct noise monitoring at their own expense during all events to comply with specific EPA standards.
Locations for the noise monitoring equipment will be agreed to by both council and organisers prior to the event to ensure compliance with the planning permit. Organisers must submit a Noise Impact Report to council no more than 30 days after the event.
Council resolved to remain the responsible authority to ensure all permit conditions are complied with to its standard.
Our Friends Farm director Tanya El-Gamal said she was happy council recognised the benefits of hosting music festivals and other events in the shire.
“It was great to see so much community support,” she said.
“There’s definitely a really positive vibe coming together of people in the local and surrounding area that want to do positive things in the community and run events.
“We’re looking forward to working with council in the future and the next steps are aligning all the other permits attached to the property to work under one set of rules and one permit.”
While previous permit restrictions had forced the cancellation of the Evie music festival in 2019, organisers are looking to bring events back to the venue.
“The loss of Evie was of great detriment not just to the community that comes to the event, but the local community and local suppliers that do good business when the events are on and the locals that get jobs through it,” Ms El-Gamal said.
“It’s devastating that we weren’t able run it this year, but we’re working towards bringing it back as soon as possible.”
Council will continue to liaise with event organisers and residents to work towards positive outcomes.
Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said the community could be assured council will continue to monitor the noise emitted from events and ensure compliance by event organisers.
“We understand that it is important to have event activities across our shire, and we have come up with a solution in what is an environment that has differing views,” he said.