Open Farm Cancellation
Some background information and a request for your support
During the month of February we received some communication from the Moreton Bay Regional Council which effectively meant we were forced to cancel our Open Farm events until further notice. Naturally this is disappointing for us as well as for our customers and we wanted to provide a little bit of background for this as well as let you know how you can help and stay informed about our efforts to re-instate this popular family event for the people of Brisbane.
Last year (2016), our open farm events became very popular and caused some issues in the immediate surroundings to the farm particularly in regard to parking. This led to a formal complaint from a neighbour and a meeting with the council where they informed us that we would need to apply for a "tourist attraction" permit. This is a very expensive process which is typically required by a theme park or zoo (according to their documentation), and for a small fledgling business trying to get off the ground, we felt that it was a little unfair for us to carry this sort of burden for an event which occupied 3 hours a month about 10 times a year (so 30 hours per year).
Despite arranging off-road parking in a neighbour's property (for which we pay a small fee), we still received a "show cause" notice which effectively indicates an intention by the Council to prosecute unless an application is lodged, or the offending activity is halted.
We are currently exploring options and will be forced to spend quite a lot of time and effort to pursue an application with the council; however in the long term we believe that the open farm event offers a great opportunity for city families to experience a taste of life on the farm.
We know that there are a great number of people out there in the community that have already experienced one or more of our open farms and would appreciate the opportunity to come to one in the future. We therefore invite you to assist in any way that you can:
- Join our mailing list to get email updates on our progress - sign up here: http://grookea.net.au/mailman/listinfo/supporters_grookea.net.au
- Let us know if you have any relevant contacts or specialised knowledge in this sort of area (DA, legal etc)
- Send us a letter of support that we can use in our submission and negotiations with the council (email email@example.com)
- Write or email your local MP or councillor (in MBRC region), or the state minister for tourism (Kate Jones) for those outside MBRC council, indicating your support.