THE owners of Gordon Country at Goomburra have hit out at what they claim are implications they were partially responsible for drug use at a weekend music festival where 25 people were charged with drug-driving.

As reported this week, Allora police were shocked to detect so many people leaving the event and on public roads in the area while affected by illegal substances.

Sergeant Des Canning did not mince words, saying it was "catastrophic" for crime statistics in a low-crime area like Goomburra.

He was also critical of the organisers of the event for allowing quantities of drugs to be taken onto the Gordon Country property.

The Manifest music festival was organised by an external promoter, who liaised with property owners Ian and Sue Gordon in the planning of the event.

Mrs Gordon said it had taken 12 months to plan the festival and that the event had been "superbly managed". "On many occasions the police were welcomed by security officers and shown around, as were the council officers who advised they were well satisfied with compliance with the festival approval conditions," Mrs Gordon told the Daily News.

"We can't stop the few idiots that decide to use drugs because they would do this anyway.

"When you have hundreds of people and you find 20-odd people under drug influence, it's no different to going to any event or pub where police officers are waiting outside and they arrest people for being under the influence.

"To suggest that one of Queensland's largest tourism operators, Gordon Country, should not hold music festivals is ridiculous - unless every festival, pub, show and event that allows alcohol is also to be denied that right."

While the organisers of Manifest did not return calls from the Daily News yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Southern Downs Regional Council said it received seven noise complaints during the weekend of the festival from other Goomburra properties.

But she also said council felt the preparation work carried out under its 41 conditions of approval for the event, issued in 2011, had worked well overall.

"Working with council, the organisers appointed noise and acoustic specialists to assist the artists and musicians to comply with the conditions specifically dealing with audible noise," the spokeswoman said yesterday.



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