by Daniel Hurst
Redland Times – 28/4/2008
A BUSINESS has secured the right to sell takeaway alcohol on Coochiemudlo Island after winning an appeal to the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal.
The decision marks the final stage of a drawn-out battle between vocal residents and Consul Management Pty Ltd over the plans.
The business wanted to gain a general liquor licence at the existing Bayview on Coochie restaurant building in Victoria Parade which would allow it to sell takeaway alcohol from the inside bar area.
The building previously had a meals-only liquor licence, but has been closed for six years.
The business plans to operate a bar and restaurant at the site, but has ruled out poker machines, amplified entertainment and a separate bottle shop.
Queensland’s Liquor Licensing division last year refused the liquor licence application, accepting opponents’ claims that the proposal could harm the peacefulness of the island.
But the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal has given the go-ahead for a general liquor licence to be granted, so long as a courtesy bus is provided to transport patrons to the ferry terminal or island accommodation.
Takeaway liquor sales would be restricted to the hours of 10am to 9pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 7pm on Sundays.
The tribunal panel decided the proposal would not have an undue impact on the peacefulness of the area.
In their judgement, tribunal members said the impacts must be balanced against the “benefit to the tourism and liquor industries and the general public of having a small-scale facility which provides for drinking and socialising in pleasant surroundings, as well as the convenience of a local facility for the purchase of takeaway liquor”.
Police, local politicians, the council and residents have previously raised concerns over the proposal fearing it could provoke law and order issues.
Objectors are planning to hold a meeting on the island in May.