Sign crackdown is ‘good for Noosa business’
NOOSA'S targeting of visual clutter through advertising sign restrictions is actually "good for business".
That is the opinion of Councillor Brian Stockwell.
In his latest residents' newsletter Cr Stockwell said Noosa guidelines encourage signage that was "architecturally attractive and contribute to the retention and enhancement of the character of an area".
Noosa's design manual prohibited "billboards, animated signs, bunting and footpath signs on road reserves"
"It restricted the height and number of signs and introduced annual registration fees for certain classes of advertising devices," he said.
"In my view these settings weren't and still aren't anti-business.
"They have significantly increased value in the local economy for decades."
He said this anti-clutter dictate has been integral to creating our 'look and feel' as "part of the internationally recognised Noosa brand".
"From my perspective the most important way council can support local business is to protect the Noosa Brand. Retaining and enhancing the character of our streetscapes means keeping to the high urban design standards set in the 1980s.
He said in 2009 researchers from University of Queensland and QUT studied the economic value of brand equity" in Noosa.
"Brand equity is essentially the value added by the brand - in this case by our geographic location.
"While exploratory in nature this study suggested that Noosa's brand equity represented 107 per cent above an average region for the local accommodation and restaurant industry.
"While not as pronounced the Noosa brand was estimated to add 21 per cent to local retail businesses compared to other regions in Australia."
The councillor said the vast majority of current business owners chose to relocate and set up business here as a direct result of the Noosa brand and the lifestyle which underpins it.
"Council staff have done a good job in consulting with the local business groups on the new (signage) local law and as a result we are refining the proposed approach." he said
"The draft proposals will be readvertised shortly.
While opinion is divided, Cr Stockwell said many within the business sector agree with his view and said one large operator wrote to council with full support, suggesting:
"It is critical that council does all in its power to maintain the character and the 'look and feel 'of Noosa ...there must be an appreciation of the very real difference of Noosa and the reasons for its popularity and appeal."
He said this was a Noosa business owner with 250 employees.