Peppermint Grove council stands up against paddlers at all hours

Stock image.
Stock image.

PEPPERMINT Grove councillors have said they have an issue with businesses using public parks for free when they considered a stand-up paddleboard school continuing to operate on their foreshore last month.

“I have a problem with the application because the foreshore is there first for the residents, then visitors, and lastly for commercial enterprise,” Cr Charles Hohnen said.

“To go with daylight hours, seven days a week, is more than over the top.”

The council was asked by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DoBCA) to comment on an application by the North Fremantle-based Perth Stand-Up Paddle School to continue its operations for two years, after the expiry of an initial 2016 approval, in Freshwater Bay.

Mr McKay sought to operate all days between 7am to 6pm in any new two-year approval from the department.

Council staff said the application appeared to be an “ambit” application for all hours of operation.

“The application raises the issue of overlapping jurisdiction and laws whereby a business activity derives a commercial benefit from the use of public land and pays no fee for the ability to use the land and yet is not subject to the permit requirement of local laws,” a staff report said.

The school also operates on the foreshores of Mosman Park, Fremantle and Melville councils, but the report said Peppermint Grove had to consider how to manage its foreshore so there was sufficient space for “impromptu enjoyment” rather than booked commercial activities.

“We should be considering a fee structure like other councils,” Cr Peter Macintosh said

Councillors agreed to tell the DoBCA to approve Mr McKay’s application only be for a year so a local permit may be issued, but not include evenings, weekends and public holidays.

Mr McKay said he would seek clarification of the potential restrictions proposed by the council.