The NIMBY effect is building in a beach suburb on the Gold Coast, with some locals vocal in their opposition to a planned music festival that is set to attract thousands of music fans.
Shock jock Alan Jones recently called for the music festival on Coolangatta beach to be shut down as it will lock out locals from beach and the local park for a few days.
Now Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey has joined in saying the beachside event may put festival goers’ lives at risk.
“We all know there are certain risks with music festivals anyway, but why be putting it in an area where there is no shade, there is an ocean and tides, and people are going to be there for a long time?” she told the ABC.
“We all care about this place and don’t want to see it given a bad reputation, we don’t want to see people lose lives at an event when it could have been avoided.”
Stuckey said the beach was the wrong location for a festival of this size, which she compared in scope to the Big Day Out, Splendour in the Grass and the UK’s Glastonbury, which are all held inland and away from residential areas.
“So these events should not be in high residential and tourism areas, because it is just not the right fit,” she said.
Some local hospitality operators are also against the festival, saying they are “still reeling” from the slowdown in trade during the Commonwealth Games.
Steve Archdeacon, who operates a restaurant opposite the Coolangatta festival site, told the ABC that he wasn’t against the event, he just wanted it to be staged somewhere else.
“This area lost a lot of money during the Commonwealth Games and we don’t want a repeat of that,” he said.
However, promoter Billy Cross said the concerns over safety and access to the beach were overblown.
“With a festival and with an event like this, there is police, there is security, there is a full triage of paramedics and ambulance and safety officers there,” he told the ABC.
He also said the 21-day loading period would not disrupt beachgoers, with the beach only closed for the two-day event and half of one other day.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate also defended the festival, saying the city was used to staging major events.
“In any major event there is bump in and bump out — there’s discomfort for some local traders — but when you look at the overall, it is a great way to present our city and earn more economic income,” he said.