Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
THE Dunkeld Pastoral Company has appealed against a decision giving the green light to the Dunkeld Bowling Club to seek an expanded liquor licence.
Last month, Southern Grampians Shire Council issued a planning permit for the land used by the bowling club to allow it sell liquor.
The club wants to supplement its existing restricted liquor licence with a renewable liquor licence that will allow it to offer its facilities to non-members.
Dunkeld Pastoral Company (DPC) – which operates the Royal Mail Hotel – owns land adjacent to the bowling club and opposed the club’s move.
Now the shire and a Victorian Civil and Administrative (VCAT) spokeswoman has confirmed that DPC had lodged an objection to the council’s decision.
The spokeswoman said the objection was lodged on April 12.
Normally, a VCAT appeal would take at least three months, but she said it would also depend on when regional hearings were held. The next regional hearings will be held in May but she thought cases for these hearings had already been allocated.
Therefore, it was more likely to be heard at the next regional hearings in August.
Southern Grampians Shire’s regulatory services manager, Geoff Kearns, confirmed the shire had been notified about the objection.
Competition to pub
The shire’s meeting last month was told that part of DPC’s objection was the commercial competition that would arise to the Royal Mail if the bowling club got an expanded licence.
In his report to council, physical services manager, Jim Nolan, said “it was important to note that the objector owns facilities that might provide commercial competition to the use of the bowling club for private functions”.
The DPC’s objections also included amenity as well as the impact on the expanded use of the bowling club on other users of the public park.
“The new use proposed by the bowling club is not appropriate for a public park – the other facilities in the park are primarily for use of children and families,” DPC said.
As well, allowing groups other than bowling club members to use its facilities and alcohol being regularly served would change the emphasis of a public park.
However, both adjoining users of the park – the tennis club and swimming pool committee – had no objection to the bowling club gaining an expanded liquor licence. The bowling club is sited on crown land and the Department of Sustainability and Environment also had no objection.