by Jeni Bone
'Exhausted jubilation' is the feeling following the lobby group’s win at Gold Coast City Council yesterday, finally getting approval for a not-for-profit organisation to operate the Tipplers Tavern on South Stradbroke Island after councillors voted to halt its demolition.
The iconic, but certainly rundown, Tipplers Resort is worth fighting for, says Marine Action Group.
'We thought it wasn’t going to get through, then after four hours’ debate, we got the go ahead,' said a very relieved Keith Douglas of the Marine Action Group, who has led the movement to preserve the Resort at the site and ensure it remains in public use.
Mayor Ron Clarke said that Council had decided to give ‘in principle’ support for the restoration and redevelopment of the tavern building - preferably by a not for profit community-based group.
However, this would only occur if, among other things, Council’s financial commitment was not increased and issues including licensing, tendering, management and procurement of the facility were further clarified and considered.
'We have asked that the CEO bring forward a report to progress this matter prior to 24 June, 2011,' said Cr Clarke. 'Obviously, with the change to the current demolition contract and schedule of works, we will want to know from him what are the resultant risks to timelines on construction work currently underway on site, and any financial requirements.
Keith Douglas Fishing and Lifestyle Party
'There are significant issues still to be sorted through before a final decision is made on the inclusion of a tavern in the precinct.'
It came down eight votes to five, with Grant Pforr, Ted Shepherd, Greg Betts, Chris Robbins and Ron Clarke voting against saving the tavern.
With any luck, boaties, their families and tourists to the Gold Coast could be enjoying summer on one of the most picturesque points in the region.
The council controversially bought Tipplers in 2009 for $7 million, with the aim curbing its reputation of binge-drinking to turn it into a holiday resort.
The tavern was due to be demolished on Tuesday, May 3, but was given a stay of execution until it could be reconsidered at the first full council meeting after the Easter recess yesterday.
Burleigh councillor Greg Betts said the council had wasted enough money and should continue with its plans to demolish the tavern and build a licensed cafe-restaurant.
Marine Action Group spokesman Keith Douglas said more money would be made from running a tavern than in demolishing it so it was worth the small cost now in the long run.
Take a look at the locals' love of this iconic site, from Channel Nine Gold Coast News.
For more information visit www.marineactiongroup.com