Elmes is outraged at Villa

An unimpressed member for Noosa Glen Elmes has written to the office of liquor, gaming and racing to please explain why the Villa Noosa has applied for 5am trading seven days a week without following correct procedure.

Mr Elmes believes the hotel run by MGW Hotels, which Woolworths has a majority shareholding in, failed to provide a proper community impact statement (CIS) with its licence application.

Instead, Mr Elmes’ electorate officer was told by an MGW representative by phone that the impact statement had not been completed and that a general statement had been lodged in its place.

Mr Elmes said the CIS was a requirement under the application guidelines and in his letter to the liquor licensing authority wrote: “Would you explain to me how this can possibly be acceptable and not make a mockery of the legislation?

“I believe it is time for corporate giants to be answerable to the communities in which they operate and to the people who support them.”

MGW state manager Trevor Smith told the Noosa News on Thursday that the company was within its rights to apply for a licence and advertise the application before submitting a CIS, which he said would be prepared.

However the office of liquor, racing and gaming confirmed on Friday that a CIS must be submitted with any application to extend trading hours.

 Mr Elmes said this sort of approach to application procedure smacked of treating the Noosa community as a joke, and he urged people outside the immediate Noosaville area to lodge an objection by July 2.

“They (opponents to late night trading) might not live in the area, but something like this could be coming to a suburban hotel near them.”

The Villa Noosa application has stirred up huge opposition from local residents and Mr Elmes has now posted an online protest e-petition.

Mr Smith said he was restricted in what he could say because of the ongoing application procedure.

He said there would come a stage in the process for hearings and even public consultations where the company could discuss with local residents any adjustments to hotel operations to maintain their quality of life.

Mr Smith said as of January 1 there had been changes to the licensing regime and the introduction of a new fee structure that had increased the costs to his company.

“We have to look at ways of growing the business to recover those costs and this is one of the ways of doing that.”


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