No rush on beach trade
Sea of red tape stalls summer season applicants
THE Gold Coast is unlikely to welcome commercial ventures on to beaches in time for the peak summer holiday season as potential applicants navigate a process “drowning in red tape”.
Despite a wave of support for a trial to allow food, drinks and entertainment businesses to trade on the city’s famous beaches, the State Government and Gold Coast City Council are yet to receive any formal applications.
While at least two operators have flagged plans to apply for a licence, a council source said the amount of red tape involved had stalled progress.
Council paved the way for trading on the beach in 2015 when it signed off on a Commercial Activities on Ocean Beaches Management Plan for business on beaches between Jumpinpin and Point Danger.
However, three years later, it is yet to receive, let alone approve, any formal applications.
Managers at Sheraton Mirage have been working on plans for a beach bar but the resort’s owners, Star Entertainment, say they are yet to submit a formal proposal.
“We are yet to put forward a formal application and we realise there would be a rigorous process once we do so,” a spokesman for The Star Gold Coast said.
The Bulletin understands Star Entertainment drafted preliminary designs for a beach bar at The Sheraton Mirage in the lead-up to April’s Commonwealth Games, but did not proceed with a formal application.
Major events regulations enacted for the Gold Coast Games would have streamlined the application process, but have since expired.
Pat Gennari, whose portfolio includes Marina Mirage’s Glass and Broadbeach hot spots Koi and The Loose Moose, outlined plans for a proposed $1.5 million beachedge venue, dubbed Project Drift, at Broadbeach in June, but is also yet to submit a formal application.
The Bulletin was unable to contact Mr Gennari yesterday.
A spokesman for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said applications for “anything on the sand” are the responsibility of the council.
Anything on the adjoining reserve falls under the control of both council and the Department of Natural Resources, Mining and Energy.
Applications involving the sale of alcohol would be subject to further approvals.
“If big organisations are having trouble wading through the paperwork, imagine how difficult smaller operators must find it,” a source said.
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