Bruce and Terri Geissmann from Rainbow Beach Hardware, Fishing and Camping are concerned about the approval for a roadside stall on the corner of Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach roads
Terri Geissmann from Rainbow Beach Hardware, Fishing and Camping was driving to Gympie and was distracted and disappointed to see a roadside stall was selling fishing equipment.
After determining the jurisdiction, a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson confirmed with the Community News that they granted a short-term, three-month Road Corridor Permit for a roadside vendor to operate in the rest area at the Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach roads intersection.
The callous reply did not address the impact on local business but stated, “The application was assessed according to TMR’s roadside vending guidelines and we’ll continue to monitor the rest area to ensure permit conditions are being met.”
Terri and her husband Bruce feel that this is not acceptable for those businesses involved. “How many businesses in town are selling fishing gear?” said Bruce.
There’s also the IGA, Rainbow Beach Camping and Disposals, the Shell, Chilly Bin, Carlo Point Boat Hire and the BP. “It’s taking trade away from them. The rep is losing out too – we’re not buying gear, if we’re not selling it!”
Business owners provide warranties, pay insurance, rates, and wages. They work hard all year to provide a service to town, and this time of year is when they can recoup from the slower times.
“I don’t think it is very fair of Main Roads to do this. This town relies on the tourist trade.”
A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson explained that roadside vending guidelines allow us only to assess the potential impacts of roadside vendors on the state-controlled network, to ensure the ongoing safety of motorists.
However, their Roadside Vending on State-Controlled Roads document states: “Regional offices will consult with the local government in the area that the roadside vending activity is to take place.”
Council have advised, “Should an applicant wish to establish a standing stall (like the fishing tackle stall situation), Council’s Design Branch apply a much more rigorous set of conditions which are geared toward safety, traffic nuisance, amenity, waste, environmental matters, etc.”
The council representative was not aware of any such approvals for stalls on Council controlled roadways.
The Community News wonders if this consultation occurred. It could have been conducted prior to issuing – to give our small businesses a fair go.
If it was an itinerant stall that Council approved, they take into consideration their “proximity to established similar businesses”.
Terri says, “That rule doesn’t apply in this situation, he could be on the next corner – it wouldn’t be any different. It is targeting all tourists heading to Rainbow Beach.
“They took down a Christmas banner years ago. So you can’t have a sign for a charity event, but you can set up a business there!”
Their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, “Main Roads have ignored our calls.”
Small businesses have enough going against them without thoughtless government decisions causing further detriment, as Bruce surmises, “It is more unjust on the town, rather than one particular business.”
The Community News is still waiting on feedback from Local MP Tony Perrett.