Monthly Archives: December 2010

North Byron Parklands submissions tallied

The results of the public exhibition period for the North Byron Parklands proposal have been released by the NSW Department of Planning.

The proposal for a permanent sustainable cultural event venue on North Byron Parklands’ 660 acre site at Yelgun in the Byron Shire was on public exhibition for six weeks from October 7.

The Department received 4,821 submissions in support of the proposal and 715 submissions were received against the proposal.

The Department also received a petition with 4,160 signatures in support of the proposal and petitions totalling 25 signatures against the proposal.

“We are obviously happy with the results of the public exhibition period and we thank those who supported the proposal with all our hearts” said Mat Morris, General Manager of North Byron Parklands.

“We are addressing issues raised in submissions and will aim to provide our feedback including any updates to our proposal to the Department of Planning prior to Christmas. We understand we still have some way to go before a decision is made”.

If approved, the proposed cultural event venue would host events up to a maximum of twenty days each year (not including events of under 300 people) when operating at capacity.

“The event structure allows the site to experience little to no activity for 280 days each year” outlined Mat Morris.

Further, less than half the 660 acre site would be used for event purposes, with the remaining land used for bush regeneration and habitat.

Approval of the proposal would bring Splendour in the Grass home to the Byron Shire, where it resided for the first nine of its ten years. Queensland has welcomed the highly popular festival which regularly sells out in a matter of hours, with the Queensland Government investing heavily in ensuring the Woodford site was ready for Splendour’s 2010 10th anniversary event.

“We hope to have an answer regarding our application in the New Year,” Mr Morris said.

Community invited to blessing by Gyuto Monks

THE tranquil grounds of The Crystal Castle will play host to a sacred ceremony on Friday, December 10 and the whole community is invited to attend.

The Gyuto Monks of Tibet will bless and consecrate lands at The Crystal Castle in readiness for the building of a rare Kalachakra stupa, an active symbol of world peace.

A stupa is a religious monument built by Tibetan Buddhists to represent Buddha’s enlightened nature. Symbolic of community strength and interdependence, Tibetans believe contributing to the building of a stupa is one of the most auspicious things one can do and once built, great benefit is thought to be gained from walking clockwise around one.

The dream of building a stupa began in 2003 when Crystal Castle owners Naren and Sono King visited Buddhist sacred sites in Borobudur, Java. Inspired by the beauty of these monuments, in February this year they travelled to Dharamsala in India for a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They were delighted to receive His Holiness’ blessings to build the stupa.

“We were requested to build the rare Kalachakra stupa, which is specifically for restoring balance to the Earth in times of war, conflict and environmental destruction” said Naren King. “It will be the first of its kind in Australia and only the seventh of its kind in the world”.

The stupa will be created under the guidance of the Gyuto Monks, who will carry out ceremonies required at each stage of construction as well as the intricate sculptures and artwork to adorn the monument. The eight metre structure will be filled with sacred objects, scriptures and relics.

“Recently a Kathmandu monastery gifted us with a complete collection of the Buddha’s teachings, 108 volumes of sacred scrolls, as well as the teachings of the first Dalai Lama” said Naren.

Forty brass prayer wheels, each containing over 130,000 Om Mani Padme Hum mantras, are being handmade for the stupa by a family of traditional craftsmen in Kathmandu. The community is also contributing objects that symbolise the functioning, survival and prosperity of a good society. Locals and visitors have already created seven hundred clay Buddha statues to be sealed inside the monument.

The Gyuto Monks will take up residence at The Crystal Castle December 4 – 12, during which time they encourage the young and old to visit.

Crystal Castle Kalachakra Stupa Blessing Friday 10th December, 11:00am. Entry is free and everybody is welcome!

The Gyuto Monks of Tibet and local indigenous people will bless the site and seek permission from the local spirits to proceed with the construction of the monument.  Crystal Castle, 81 Monet Drive Mullumbimby. Ph 6684 3111

“This stupa will be a very important symbol of world peace for Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers region.” Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok, Gyuto Monk elder