At the recent Ordinary Meeting of Noosa Council, the convoluted problem relating to the Noosa Waterfront Restaurant’s land use for wedding receptions was resolved - for now.
"The issue was more complicated than most people realise," said Mayor Tony Wellington. "Council is not the land owner of the parkland beside the restaurant. The land is owned by the State Government, and Council is simply the trustee.
"Council received legal advice that it could not lawfully permit use of the land for wedding receptions because to do so would be in breach of State legislation. So instead, we have resolved to approve the use, subject to approval from the relevant State Minister. This is in-keeping with our legal advice that only the Minister can allow activities on the land that are in conflict with the Land Act.
"I am aware that Member for Noosa Glen Elmes has been in discussions with the staff from the responsible State agency. We can thus feel reasonably confident that the State will allow the existing bookings to be honoured.
"Any on-going use of the land for wedding receptions after November will be subject to both State determination as well as planning and permit consideration by Council. It remains that the State Government, as the land owner, is the head-of-power in this matter."
Councillor Ingrid Jackson moved the motion seeking a grace period to allow the Noosa Waterfront Restaurant to accommodate its existing bookings until 30 November. "The Noosa Waterfront Restaurant mistakenly thought they already had approval to use the land," she said. "In good faith they had booked wedding receptions to November."
"With my motion being carried last night, Council has done its part in clearing a pathway to allowing the restaurant to honour its commitments to wedding couples. It's now up to the State to give the necessary final approval."
Meanwhile, public consultation about the Noosaville Foreshore Land Use Master Plan continues until May 26. The Master Plan will provide Council with a guideline for activities along the river foreshore. Residents and businesses wishing to make submissions can go to the Your Say Noosa section of Council's website.