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Business News

Council red tape puts $400k development on hold

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Grafton brewery industrial complex in North St, Grafton

Council red tape puts $400k development on hold

By Tim Howard

Local government red tape has put a $400,000 business investment which could create up to five jobs at risk says a group of people behind the proposal.
The Brewhouse Group said Clarence Valley Council’s conditional approval for a 24-hour car wash at the old Grafton brewery industrial complex in North St, Grafton, would make it “unfeasible”.

The owner of the complex, Rick Firth, said the project was on hold because council had slashed its operating hours and also refused to discount Section 64 developer fees.
Mr Firth said the development, which proposed a car wash, dry detailing bay and 2 vacuum bays at the North St site, was a state of the art system which recycled 85% of the water used.

He said the system kept a lot of chemically contaminated run off out of the storm water system as well as reducing pressure on the sewerage system, which the council told him was close to its operating limits ahead of an upgrade in 2027.
Mr Firth said the extra tenement fee involved added up to $87,000, which he had discussed with the council’’s development management unit last year.

He said he proposed reducing the fees by about half, but this had been ignored during the council committee meetings and at the final meeting which approved the DA.
“There was no discussion at all about the fee reductions, all the councillors seem to worry about was operating hours,” he said.

Council staff said contribution rates for car washes (per lane) are included in Section 64 Guidelines, but a council resolution from June 2017 meant there was no scope for staff to reduce Section 64 contributions for “pro-active water management measures”.
Mr Firth said he was considering going ahead with the proposal but not installing the water recycling technology, which he said could cost as much as $1000 a month to run.
He said an operator he knew near Port Macquarie, had done this to save costs and was able to run the business successfully.

“It goes against what I believe to do things to help the environment,” he said. “But at the end of the day it has to be a feasible proposition to run.”
He said the reduced operating hours were not a deal breaker, but were difficult to understand in an area zoned as industrial.

“There are two other carwashes in Grafton, both operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and one is right next to a residential area which makes this recommendation very confusing,” Mr Firth said.
“We are an industrial complex and by default have a development that is already compliant, so don’t understand why we would be treated any differently to similar businesses that have approval to operate all day and night.
“Our carwash is brand new technology and much quieter than those already in operation and will employ up to five people, however we’ll find it difficult to go ahead with the proposed operating hours as it just won’t stack up financially.”
Mr Firth said the complex could employ two full time and one part time staff on the carwash and potentially a car full time and part time car detailer.

At its May 25 meeting most councillors supported limiting hours although not as limited as the council officers, who recommended 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 3pm Sunday.
Instead they went for 13 hours operation Monday to Saturday and 11 hours on Sunday. Councillors felt residents across the road from the proposed car wash needed breaks from the noise and traffic activity the business would generate.
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the DA amended to include reduced opening hours.

Business News

SUPPORT PACKAGE A GAME CHANGER FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

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SUPPORT PACKAGE A GAME CHANGER FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

SUPPORT PACKAGE A GAME CHANGER FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

A $500 million support package to revive the events and tourism industry across NSW will be a game changer that will turbo charge a post COVID economic recovery, according to the state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced the package, which includes each adult being provided a $50 voucher to spend on accommodation anywhere in the State.

Business NSW has been telling Government since the start of the pandemic that different industries were being impacted in different ways, but the tourism, hospitality and events sector has been the hardest hit,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty

“What is particularly pleasing is this is not a Sydney centric package but recognises that all of NSW has a part to play in the economic recovery through regional events and tourism, with support for satellite CBD’s a cornerstone of this funding,” Jane Laverty said.

“Business will be delighted with the Event Saver Fund which allows for immediate financial support for organisers of events that are disrupted or cancelled due to a Public Health Order this summer. This will allow confidence in investment and employment without a fear of being left footing a huge bill.

“The exciting part about this support package is that it will actually encourage more business investment and drive a collaborative partnership between business and Government in securing events and once again making NSW the number one destination in the Asia Pacific region for both business and travel.

“What is crucial is the targeted approach the Government takes from here in deciding where the money is spent – this needs to be on a needs-based approach to ensure maximum return on investment.

“A united approach using insight from stakeholders on the ground will be crucial to ensuring this package delivers for all of NSW.

“Business NSW looks forward to working with the State Government in coming weeks on measures and support that will drive regional recovery,” Mrs Laverty said.

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Business News

NEW HARDSHIP PANEL TO PROVIDE MORE BUSINESSES WITH COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT

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Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope

NEW HARDSHIP PANEL TO PROVIDE MORE BUSINESSES WITH COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT

A new Hardship Review Panel has been established to consider financial support for businesses experiencing financial hardship that do not qualify for COVID-19 business support measures.

The panel will assess on a case-by-case basis businesses which did not meet the eligibility requirements for the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, Micro-business Grant and JobSaver payments.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the Review Panel would help those businesses experiencing genuine financial hardship that were previously ineligible for support payments and grants.
“COVID-19 has affected so many businesses in NSW and even though we have a number of support measures in place, there are still some businesses under severe financial strain that aren’t eligible for assistance for a number of reasons. We want to plug that gap as much as we can,” Mr Tudehope said.

The Review Panel will include representatives from Revenue NSW, NSW Treasury and Service NSW and will make recommendations on businesses’ eligibility for relevant support payments and grants.
It will consider a broad range of factors in determining whether a business has experienced financial hardship, with the Chief Commissioner of Revenue NSW to be ultimately responsible and make the final determination for applications.

“My message to small businesses is this – no matter what corner of the state you’re in, we will be there with you all the way as we navigate this global health pandemic,” Mr Tudehope said.

Factors that the hardship panel will consider include, for example, whether the business is an employer, in a highly impacted industry, in an LGA of concern or has unavoidable costs for which no other support is available.

Businesses will be back paid to the fortnight where they can demonstrate the required decline in turnover with the Panel. Hardship applications for JobSaver are now open with hardship COVID business grants and Micro-business grants to open later this month. See more here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses/covid-19-business-support-hardship-review.

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Business News

ROADMAP GIVES CERTAINTY TO BUSINESS

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REOPENING NSW page 1

ROADMAP GIVES CERTAINTY TO BUSINESS

The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW says confirmation of the three phases of reopening for NSW is a positive step that will provide much needed certainty to business.
The Government has announced rules which will determine what can and can’t happen as the population reaches 70 and 80% double vaccination rates, as well as when liberties apply to all residents, irrespective of vaccination status.
“It’s been an uncertain time for many businesses with lots of confusion about which businesses will be able to open and under what rules,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty.
“The release of the Public Health Orders in coming days will reconfirm that the onus will be on individuals to do the right thing and abide by the rules,” Mrs Laverty said.
“Business owners can’t be expected to also act as security guards, so long as they have a COVIDSafe plan and appropriate registration in place at their entry, they can get on with the business of being in business.
“The Premier has confirmed that 11 October is the day we will likely reopen at 70% double vaccination rate, which we are calling #backtobusiness day, because it will be a real celebration of being able to visit our favourite businesses again and to celebrate what we’ve missed over the past few months.
“A number of greater freedoms will come into place at the 80% double vaccination rate, which on current trends could be as soon as 25 October.
“Businesses will be able to operate under a one person per four square metre rule, with certain caps in place on numbers, depending on the type of industry and whether customers are gathering inside our outdoors.
“It won’t be until 1 December that vaccination status is not a factor – meaning businesses will be able to operate under a one person per 2 square metre rule, as opposed to one person per 4 square metres up until then.
“This is an important step for the business recovery in NSW, as the state looks to bounce back as quickly as possible from the ravages of the pandemic,” Mrs Laverty said.

To see the REOPENING NSW click here to open the PDF

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