Wollongong City Council has responded to claims music festival organisers have left one of the city’s most popular beaches a hazard to the community.
A concerned resident has said he was “disgusted” at the amount of rubbish left littered around North Wollongong beach and surrounds following the Corona SunSets festival on the weekend.
The resident said after walking through the area on Tuesday evening he was “appalled” at what he saw, believed trip hazards and scaffolding posed risks to the community.
“The sand was covered in small pieces of paper, plastic, cloth, electrical tape, cigarette butts, tin cans and worst of all polystyrene balls,” he said.
“The surrounding grass is also littered with rubbish as well as dangerous holes, fencing, damaged posts and other items laying around.”
A spokeswoman for Wollongong City Council said festival organisers still had control over the site until late Thursday to ensure it would be returned to the city in the state it was before the event.
“It was the event organiser’s priority to return beach and foreshore access to the community as quickly as possible after the event. As a result, the majority of fencing was removed while clean-up was still under way,” she said.
“The precinct has not yet been handed over to council as the clean-up is still underway. Council is working with the event organisers to ensure the beach and surrounding precinct is returned to Council and the community in good, clean condition.”
She said council staff had been providing ongoing advice regarding “community expectations around clean up and repatriation of the site”.
Waste management service Clean Vibes was contracted by Corona to work on the site. Workers would sift through rubbish by hand to ensure as much of the waste as possible could be recycled and averted from landfill, according to Corona marketing manager Andy Vance.
“The final inspection and hand over to council will include itemising any damage – with costs of remediation being removed from the event bond if required,” the council spokeswoman said.
Meantime, president of North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club was very happy in the state the club and surrounds were left, after renting the premises to festival organisers for the event.
“The facility has been left spotless, I think they’ve done a terrific job in attempting to not leave a footprint on the area considering the scale of things,” president David Meredith said.