Joe’s ‘shirty’ about likely sign laws
ONE way to understand the points of difference that have split Noosa Council over its proposed signage local law policy, is to know that Mayor Tony Wellington would not be seen dead in a T-shirt advertising "Maccas".
Whereas Councillor Joe Jurisevic, who was one of three councillors to vote against the new law in general committee on Monday, according to the mayor is happy to walk around promoting the golden arches.
"We're not inflicting any major changes," Cr Wellington said.
"What we're trying to do is hold the line here."
He said Cr Jurisevic's arguing against this new local law would "lead us into in an absolute chaotic state, because we are trying to migrate the provisions out of the planning scheme into the local law."
"Cr Jurisevic has a different approach, I accept that, to signage than perhaps I do.
"He's quite happy to walk around with polo shirts and T-shirts covered in advertising, whereas I would be very squeamish about walking around in a T-shirt advertising freely a McDonald's restaurant or the like.
"Obviously everyone has a different level of tolerance," the mayor said.
The mayor said council's historic approach to signage that aims to avoid clutter had served Noosa "very well".
During the debate Cr Jurisevic launched into council for it seeming to have "an ongoing vendetta against the real estate industry rather than a willingness to introduce some education process".
This was reference to signage restrictions to just one open house sign allowed on the property..
He said the council should be working with agencies to minimise clutter with regard to signage for open houses.
Cr Jurisevic also questioned the signage audit carried out be council which saw the removal of two signs from the Tewantin newsagency.
"I get that some people don't like any form of advertising," he said.
He criticised inflexible rules that make it "seem like the system is not working to its intent".
The newsagency signs he said "were part of the colour and the character of the main street" and their removal seemed "somewhat obsessive and fixated on dimensions with little consideration of character".
"I doubt that anyone had an issue with signage over the years it's been in place."
He said the large white space that has replaced it has done little for him in the way of "character or amenity to the streetscape, but these are the rules".
And Cr Jurisevic took aim at the council ban of "big city symbolism and enemy of the look and feel in tear drop flags because a few people don't like them".
"In 20 years of living in Noosa, I haven't heard one person complain about a tear drop sign outside this chamber."
And he found it "ironic and inconsistent" that council bans these flags for businesses while it used these same flags to promote its pop-up displays for the new planning scheme which proposed their removal.
Cr Ingrid Jackson also voted against the local laws with Cr Jess Glasgow, forcing committee chair Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie to use his casting vote to endorse the local law.
She said when it had come to businesses seek minor changes "I've always advocated on behalf of a rational, balanced approach and case-by-case approach".
"I'm very much into keeping signage to a minimum but I always want to consider the business," she said.
She said the council had listened to business groups' concerns after the second round of signage consultation while Cr Glasgow said "if it's not broke don't fix it".
He said he has never had anyone make a single sign complaint to him, apart from his own elections signs.
Cr Wellington said it was the real estate industry that initially approached him "to do something about the proliferation of direction of signs and we haven't had a major backlash as a result of our determination".
"I'm always happy to resist any further moves to make Noosa more like everywhere else."
He said these elements that define Noosa could be lost by "many small cuts and I think we have to determine the limits as to how far we're prepared to relax the longstanding standards of Noosa".
"And that's really what this debate is about," the mayor said.
He said unlike Cr Glasgow, he had received many complaints about signage during his time on council.
"Including some by people who think that we've let things go too far and the place isn't looking like the place they once knew," Cr Wellington said.
Cr Wilkie said "there's nothing really new here about what's being introduced" and it's actually more permissive" than what was proposed in the 1980s with A-frames now allowed on the footpath.
He said Noosa used to have close to 100 per cent signage compliance but that slipped under the amalgamated council and "we're playing a bit of catch up here".
"Noosa has a key point of difference because it has had these rather strict signage laws in place for a long time.
"It's not a one size fits all for all business.
"There's flexibility built into it," Cr Wilkie said.
The final local law vote will be made at Thursday's ordinary meeting.