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Margaret River shire calls police to shut down 'illegal' party as legal action launched

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The Mindful Earth Sanctuary group operate out of Karridale. (Facebook: Mindful Earth Sanctuary)

A Western Australian council has asked police to shut down an event this weekend at an unauthorised music retreat near Margaret River, as part of an ongoing stoush over loud parties.

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is taking legal action against the owner of the Mindful Earth Sanctuary over planning and building rules.

It comes after police and neighbors expressed concern over loud music and large numbers of people camping at the property in Karridale.

On Tuesday, the retreat's owner Brett Murrell, also known as Boh Morel, pleaded not guilty in Busselton Magistrates Court to contravening planning schemes and carrying out the building without a permit.

Later in the day, the shire announced police and rangers would enforce a health direction for the retreat's upcoming Home Life event to be canceled, claiming sanitation was inadequate.

The shire said someone had also been injured on the property at a previous event.

'Outdated rules'

Mr. Murrell said he was disappointed the shire was opposed to the donation-only event.

He denied it was a so-called bush doof or illegal bush rave.

"The event is a purely holistic event," he said.

"It's bringing the community together; it's opening people's hearts.

"It's all around yoga, breath-work, live music [and] there's no doof music at all."

Mr. Murrell said the event was about people "coming together".

"After COVID we need to have spaces where people can learn to reconnect," he said.

"Unfortunately, the shire has all these outdated rules where they don't allow people to camp on your land."

As well as hosting events, Mr. Murrell said the property allowed travelers to stay and spend time there working on the garden.

He estimated up to 50 people camped at the property at peak times.

"We realise that loud music where we are is unacceptable to the neighbours [but] we still want to bring people together," he said.

Concerns over safety 

In a statement, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River said it had advised the organisers the event could not go ahead.

"Concerns for the safety of attendees have arisen after injuries were sustained at a recent event at the same site," the statement read.

"The site is considered to be unsafe and does not have adequate sanitation or the necessary permits."

"We will be enforcing the ban with the help of WA Police."

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