FEES BITE: Hawaiian surfer Crystal Dzigas at a local ice-cream van on a previous visit to Noosa Festival of Surfing.
FEES BITE: Hawaiian surfer Crystal Dzigas at a local ice-cream van on a previous visit to Noosa Festival of Surfing. Geoff Potter

Tiered council fees on public land could balance books

IT IS easier to get married than it is to obtain an ice-cream permit on community land - so says Mayor Noel Playford, who wants to simplify the process of obtaining a commercial permit on community land.

Cr Playford told fellow councillors last week that he had spoken recently to Noosa's local ice-cream van operators.

"All that rubbish you have to go through - you don't have to do anything like that to get married - to run an ice-cream van?

"You've got to sign your life away almost," he said.

And the mayor said while these permits "should not be looked on as money- making concern by council" he was keen to "cover the costs" involved with monitoring these operations.

"The simpler we can make it, the less time you have to spend (on costly administration)," Cr Playford said.

"If it's a service to the community we're interested in and not making money."

Council land management coordinator, Clint Irwin, revealed that some of the higher-yield commercial operators in future may have to pay more than less lucrative permit holders to help meet costs.

Mr Irwin said council's present permit revenue of about $25,000 meant there was a $10,000 shortfall in cost recovery.

"I propose that the activities down there (on Noosa Main Beach) that are high patronage and are getting a lot more opportunities, i.e. learn to surf, stand up paddle boarding, should be paying more," Mr Irwin said.

"I think the ratepayers would see that as fair, as opposed activities that are currently down there like the beach massage and the catamaran hire."

"I'd advocate for a tiered fee structure for sure - and by tiering that we'll be able to cover our costs."


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