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Council pathways law hurt Gold Coast eateries

Gold Coast takeaway cafes and restaurants say petty council pathway patrols are hindering customers.

Fourteen of the Gold Coast’s 320 restaurants with roadside dining permits have been penalised for infringements related to the use of the footpath over the past year.

Council regulations require cafes and restaurants to have a roadside permit for a designated footpath dining space.

Chevron Island Seafoods owner Frank Vayonitis says he is shocked by the council’s aggressive approach to policing the footpath. It’s very striking as he has been running the eatery for more than two decades and he says he has never had any issues with the council before.

Last month, the council sent him a warning letter about the number of customers dining out the front of his restaurant, telling him it exceeded the usual ten he can fit in his designated space. The letter warned him that he could be fined up to $630 if caught using more than his allocated area again. The fee goes up to $6000 for the next offence. At the time, here says there were only two excess people, and they were sitting outside the boundary.

“We had some extra customers out front who were a larger group,” Mr Vayonitis told the Golad Coast Bulletin.

As he explains it, there was a lunchtime rush on the Friday so an additional two chairs were added to accommodate a large group, who requested to eat outside. Previously, his restaurant had used a small space out the front of the neighbouring butcher to accommodate the rare overflow. It had the butcher’s permission.

“The butcher shop was always OK with it. We would put the chairs away as soon as they finished dining,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin

“It is probably not supposed to happen, but all we are trying to do is service our customers. They aren’t there permanently.’’

He says he is now turning away large groups of customers for fear of a fine.


Leon Gettler - 9th August 2018