From amphibious environmental tours and tandem skydiving to bungy trampolines, stand up paddle lessons and kite surfing lessons – there’s a range of activities that small businesses will be undertaking on community land on the Sunshine Coast from 1 July 2013.
Sunshine Coast Council has given the green light for more than 40 small businesses to operate commercially on community land after a rigorous review and application process that started in August last year.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the permitted use of selected sites of community land for use by commercial entities had provided good outcomes for both business, in terms of economic return, and the community that enjoy the services provided on our beaches and parks.
“For this permit cycle, council reviewed locations, activities and methodologies to implement an application process which not only addressed concerns and feedback received during this program of review but also ensured equity by allowing both current and new businesses wanting to operate on community land the opportunity to apply for a permit,” he said.
“The new permit process saw council expand the number of locations and activities available for commercial use. This decision will benefit our economy and both locals and visitors to our beaches and parks by providing access to a wider range of complementary services.
“However, more jobs for locals is one of the best outcomes from the process and I’d like to congratulate the successful applicants and wish them well in their business endeavours over the next three years.”
Mayor Jamieson said the awarding of the new permits brings an end to the permits currently in place. Council’s decision last week also deferred decisions on awarding permits to new businesses applying to operate on commercial land in Divisions 11 and 12, to the new Noosa Council.
“There are businesses that have missed out on receiving a permit or having their permit renewed in this process. However, current permit holders were aware not only that their permit had an expiry date in line with council’s local laws and the Land Act 1994 but that council’s process was under review and that they would need to reapply for any renewal via an advertised application process open to both new and existing businesses,” he said.
“What the review has done is open up the application process, considered new categories and locations for businesses to operate on public land and provided more opportunities with 13 additional permits awarded for small and local businesses to operate on the Coast.
“Unfortunately, the applicants wishing to operate on public land in Divisions 11 and 12 will have to wait a little longer for an outcome.
“With the successful vote on deamalgamation announced during this process and without knowing the policy direction of the new Noosa Council in relation to the commercial use of public land, it was considered inappropriate to tie another local government to a decision by this council, which will last for three years.
“To allow the new Noosa Council to decide its policy and direction in relation to the commercial use of public land, the 12 existing permit holders operating in Divisions 11 and 12 will be issued with new permits until 31 December 2013.”
The formal application process for the commercial use of public land started in early March this year when council widely advertised for businesses to apply for permits to establish mobile, commercial activities on community land.
“Last week, 28 successful applicants were awarded permits for three years to 30 June 2016. The applicants were selected by a panel against criteria that included professional experience, the quality of the equipment to be used, demonstrated high health and safety standards, and commitment to the local community and economy,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The panel that assessed the applications included professionals with expertise in the areas of community support, property, finance and economic development.”
Council’s Community Land and Complementary Commercial Activity Policy outlines the decision making framework for the allocation and use of community land for commercial activities. The policy ensures that community use remains paramount, while allowing for the operation of commercial activities in circumstances that also provide a benefit to the community.