No rush on beach trade

Sea of red tape stalls sum­mer sea­son ap­pli­cants

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - SUZANNE SIMONOT

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.

BUL­LETIN’S VIEW, P70

Pic­ture: JERAD WIL­LIAMS

He­lensvale rugby player Sarah Qarani­valu is thrilled to have been cho­sen to be the flag bearer for the Wal­la­bies against the Pu­mas.

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