Community rallies to save family event
Councillor Russell Green's attempt to kill the Peregian Originals has been dismissed as an "unacceptably lazy" knee-jerk reaction to a vocal minority and will be blocked.
An alliance of community groups, including the Peregian Beach Business Association, Peregian Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, residents and the Musician's Association of the Sunshine Coast (MASC), has formed to convince council to rethink the heavy-handed crackdown bid.
Peregian Beach Surf Club spokesman Paul Jones said the non-consultative shock attempt to end the 10 year tradition of concerts, that run for four hours every second Sunday, had astounded stakeholders.
"It's a total shock. After 10 years of having this event run so well and enjoyed by so many people, it's disappointing we had no consultation whatsoever," Mr Jones said.
"Apart from the obvious social and cultural benefit the Originals gives to the community, it's a major source of funding for the club. We're going to struggle financially without it.''
"I guess the next step is trying to ban the markets as well."
The Peregian Beach Business Association spokesperson Nicole Carter said the free community concerts and markets had helped put Peregian on the map nationally and internationally.
"To take this away from Peregian just beggars belief, it's part of Peregian's identity," Ms Carter said.
"This is a case of giant bureaucracy strangling the life out of a community. To say there's traffic chaos here because of the Originals is a huge exaggeration. There's always plenty of vacant spaces 200 metres away in the council's own carpark."
Personal and written appeals to "muso" Mayor Bob Abbot have fallen on deaf ears.
"We keep asking Bob for his help, but so far nothing," Originals' sound technician Malcolm Prendeville said.
Speaking as an individual, Peregian Beach Community House and Peregian Beach Community Association member Frank Wilkie said the move has been rejected as an unacceptably lazy policy reaction to a vocal minority.
"Not all Peregian residents visit the Originals or the Markets, but only a few would want to deprive attendees, the surf club and traders of the social, economic and cultural benefits," Mr Wilkie said.
"In my personal view, if we accept distaste for fortnightly traffic congestion as a reason for banning this long-standing family event, then we may as well let them kill the Peregian markets as well.''
"To do this when vacant spaces sit unused in a nearby council carpark is unacceptably lazy policy."
Originals organiser Jay Bishoff and Mr Prendeville have disputed Cr Green's claims made in a council press release.
"We are definitely not working with the council to move this event," Mr Bishoff said.
"We don't believe it has outgrown the venue and an average of 450 people attend, not 1000 as stated in Cr Green's press release.''
"Our technicians regularly monitor sound at the venue, and even at the homes of the few residents who have complained, and it's always well below acceptable limits."
"The gift of Peregian Originals -- providing 24 non-externally funded, free community concerts every year is unique on the continent. This has been remarked upon and confirmed by touring acts and concert attendees from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Cairns."
"It seems a shame to lose it all in a single lazy, reckless, and undemocratic decision made by Council -- because of cars and a vocal minority."
Organisers are expecting a strong turnout for the December 20 concert.
"Council has declared that will be our last for some time. We're aiming for a more democratic and sensible outcome," Mr Bishoff said.
SAVE PEREGIAN ORIGINALS ALLIANCE
Peregian Beach Surf Club
Musicians' Association of the Sunshine Coast
Peregian Beach Business Association
Peregian Beach Surf Club Park, Peregian Beach
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