Tuesday, January 1, 2019

King Edward Park Event Management - The Festival Pty Ltd

The General Manager, Newcastle City Council
King Street Newcastle NSW 2300
26 December 2018                                         
King Edward Park Event Management Drop - The Festival Pty Ltd

Council’s attention is drawn to a notice that appeared in King Edward Park Newcastle at the Terrace. 

Parks and Playgrounds Movement have had a long interest in King Edward Park since our establishment in 1952 and actively support the Newcastle City Council in the professional implementation of the official Plan of Management for the Park.

In response to the Community Lands Notice (see photo) Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc wishes to submit an Objection to Council’s proposal to issue a License or Lease as advertised on the notice on the following grounds:

1 Council has not given reasonable time for the public exhibition during the Christmas Season to allow the public to respond to the proposed License of Lease.
2. Council has not provided the public with adequate access to the Public Exhibition of proposed License or Lease.
3. Council has not provided an assessment of how the License or Lease will impact the Park and its environs.
4. Council has not made the proposed license or lease publicly available on its official website and it has not explained where the proposal complies with the Heritage Places Strategic Plan and Plans of Management for the Park.
Parks and Playgrounds Movement is of the opinion that King Edward Park is not a suitable location for this type of festival which requires a clear perimeter fence, a number of structures and intrusive loud music and the service and sale of alcohol and is not available freely to the general public for the purpose of Public Recreation.

Furthermore we believe that a Festival of this nature should be held on a generally flat area that can be adequately enclosed and effectively policed. The Newcastle Show-ground would be a more effective location with its close access to Public Transport and has facilities for the sale and service of Alcohol and extensive parking.

We note that the Community Lands Notice states that submissions will close on the 28th of Dec 2018. We believe that the notification of closure in the Festive Season is unsatisfactory and Council should exhibit in detail the proposal as a DA and carefully review the impact of the proposed activity. We maintain that this is the obvious intention of the Plan of Management that event management requires impact assessment.

King Edward Park is Newcastle’s premier park established by an initiative of James Hannell our first Mayor and Member of the NSW Legislative Council. It has been used as a family friendly park steeped in history and heritage and open to the general public for the purpose of public recreation for all of its life.

When contacted, the Council was unable to provide detail of the activity proposed by The Drop Festival Pty Ltd and there didn’t seem to be a proper Development Application submitted by the Company or a properly exhibited proposal of the activity. We believe that Council also requires the current registered name and ACN of the proponent Company. The Drop Festival Pty Ltd is not currently a registered Company or business name (24/12/2018)

We ask Councillors to note that the official Heritage Places Strategic Plan and Plans of Management for the Park specifically states with reference to Event Management:
1. The impacts of major events (Mattara Hill Climb, pictures in the park, musical events and Carols by Candlelight) needs to be reviewed to ensure that degradation of park values and environment does not occur.

We maintain that Council has a statutory obligation to observe the intention of adopted Plan of Management for the park and ensure that events in the park are family friendly and have no likely impact on the neighbourhood or heritage values and the dedicated purpose of the park.

We would be pleased to discuss these matters with Councillors in the New Year.