Dept says sorry for ‘oversight’

Portrait of bride and groom by church
Portrait of bride and groom by church

Mayor Jock Barker said DEC acting director general Jim Sharp called him last Friday apologising for failing to give the Town time to respond to sequential changes for the March 4 music festival. Claremont received an email at 4.55pm the Friday before the concert, notifying them of changes to sequencing times of stages.

‘He called it an oversight calling us late on Friday and took responsibility for it,’ Mr Barker said.

‘I will arrange a meeting between the CEO, myself and the acting director general to talk about the fact that they (the DEC) ignored our comments (on the conditions).’

At last Tuesday’s Claremont Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Bruce Haynes presented a motion suggesting the Town ‘convey its grave dissatisfaction to the Minister of Environment with the action of his Department in notifying the Town of variations to the conditions applying to the Soundwave concert’. Councillors supported the motion.

Mr Barker said the traffic manager system was late being installed on the day of the festival.

The Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), Town of Claremont and event promoter implemented a joint traffic management plan for the event and RAS chief operating officer Peter Cooper said the traffic management plan was being improved with each event.

Mr Cooper said any issues that arose were addressed and the plan modified, with input and agreement from all parties.

‘This is the first festival season to undertake this approach and on the whole, was an improvement on previous years,’ he said.

Mr Cooper said patrons were disappointed and confused by the late changes to the advertised performance times of the acts.

The department is still reviewing an independent noise report from the Big Day Out on January 28 that highlighted several noise level breaches, mainly during the last two acts, when the approved sound level was exceeded by more than 5db.