Beers on the beach – Gold Coast council’s green light for beach bar trial

The Gold Coast’s controversial beach bar push will move ahead, with Council voting to tender from next week for a limited trial between December and January.

Oct 13, 2021, updated Oct 13, 2021
Gold Coast council has approved a trial of the beach bar concept, along similar lines to Adelaide's Mosely Beach Club (Image: Trip Advisor)

Gold Coast council has approved a trial of the beach bar concept, along similar lines to Adelaide's Mosely Beach Club (Image: Trip Advisor)

In what will be a Christmas gift for supporters of the beach bar concept, including Mayor Tom Tate and peak tourism organisations such as Destination Gold Coast, the trial at Kurrawa will run for 60 days.

“We have to have a crack,’’ Tate said.

Tate said infrastructure put in place at Kurrawa beachfront at Broadbeach for the Commonwealth Games would be used for the beach club.

The City will waive all standard City of Gold Coast fees associated with the use of the Kurrawa Terrace space during the trial period.

Tate said this site was chosen as the majority of money had already been invested.

“This location provides a purpose-built beachfront event site which includes a hard stand area and has access to power, water and LED feature lighting,” he said.

“The site was successfully used for the Commonwealth House and Gold Coast Media Centre for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

Commercialisation of Gold Coast beaches has been proposed numerous times but has consistently been met with fierce opposition from residents who claim the beach should remain free for users and not offered to commercial operators.

There is also strong community objection to the impact of the operations on the beach environment as well as noise and traffic impacts for local residents.

Temporary beach bars have previously been allowed along the sand, including during the Commonwealth Games and a pop-up bar at Burleigh for the 2019 Bleach Festival.

But proposals, including a plan by The Star Gold Coast for a beach club in front of the Sheraton Grand Mirage at Main Beach, have been knocked on the head amid community outcry.

The Christmas beach bar trial at Kurrawa will extend 20 metres onto the sand and is understood to be in the style of a “classy” Bali beach club or Adelaide’s popular
Moseley Beach Club at Glenelg.

It will feature a licenced bar and kitchen for onsite drinks and food service, live music and entertainment as well as beach equipment such as sun lounges, day beds and beach umbrellas.

Planning committee chair Cameron Caldwell told Tuesday’s full council meeting that the beach bar was a “gamechanger” for the Gold Coast.

“We want to be famous for fun and not boring and dull,” Cr Caldwell said.

Tate said the 60-day trial could potentially be rolled into a fixture under a further year-long trial.

“If it’s thumbs up, people like it, we’ll take it to the next stage to say that people have voted with their feet,” he said.

“If the majority of people like it, well then we’ll say how about we trial it for 12 months and set it all in place.

“Let’s do one step at a time and if it works, well let’s go.”

Tate said community feedback would be collected during the trial.

“This will inform Council regarding any future beach club opportunities and possible benefits to the city,” he said.

“Data collected could include a breakdown of attendee details, suggestions and complaints. The successful applicant will provide a report outlining the outcomes of their commercial operation,.

“I am today writing to the State Government seeking their support as well as any advice to be provided,’’ he said.


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