Council rules force removal of Coast's strawberry icon
THE juicy fruit on the side of the Bruce Highway has been on show for the last time.
The iconic fibreglass strawberry has taken pride of place alongside the highway at Palmview for the past 20 years to indicate the start of picking season.
After an ongoing battle with council over signage, Strawberry Fields owner Jon Carmichael was forced to take it down.
"The big strawberry is an icon to the Sunshine Coast and we just wanted customers to know why it is going," Mr Carmichael said.
"The strawberry has been on display on the Coast as a decoration for 40 years, being at a strawberry winery in Noosa before here.
"It's a piece of Sunshine Coast history and it's always been a way to show the start of strawberry season for all farmers."
Should the rules around highway signage be modified?
This poll ended on 28 June 2015.
The rules are bunk for everyone, scrap them.
Different rules for different situations. Seems fair.
For special situations like this, yes.
Rules aren't fair unless they're applied the same way to everyone.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The demise of the giant strawberry came after Sunshine Coast Council enforced its rules on business signage.
A council spokesman said Mr Carmichael was asked to remove the advertising device located on the Department of Main Roads land, as he did not have a permit.
But Mr Carmichael said highway advertising was the only way to draw customers off the highway and into the country streets towards the farm.
He believes the current council rules surrounding business advertising did not cater for agricultural and farming businesses.
The same regulations and permit requirements currently apply for everyone.
"Everyone knows the strawberry and it's never caused a problem or been a distraction," Mr Carmichael said.
"We need to get people off the highway and on to country roads.
"I've been saying for years they need to change the signage policies to build something that allows for rural-based business to promote their business.
"It's one set of rules and it doesn't suit everyone; we are a seasonal business."