Doc’s one-man battle against mega-brewery

 

BRISBANE doctor who won a David and Goliath-style battle to stop his inner city neighbour craft brewery Green Beacon from turning into a mega-pub says his faith in justice has been restored.

The popular venue, which was this year bought by Japanese beer giant Asahi, has had application to expand its venue license knocked back after a Queensland tribunal found it submitted a flawed community impact statement to support their case.

The Teneriffe brewery in June last year, lodged an application to the Commissioner of Liquor and Gaming for a commercial hotel license, which would allow them to serve all types of alcohol, install a commercial kitchen and increase the seating capacity to about 185 people.

It also proposed building a mezzanine level and function area within the popular night spot.

There was no proposed plan for on-site parking in the plan.

Green Beacon Brewing Co in Newstead.
Green Beacon Brewing Co in Newstead.

Earlier this year, Brisbane Radiologist Dr Peter Scally, who lives on Helen St where the venue is located, lodged an objection to Green Beacon's license application.

He claimed the granting of a new license would increase noise to the area and encourage people to drink and smoke on the street.

Despite this, in December a commercial hotel license was provisionally granted to Green Beacon Brewing Co on the condition noise at the venue did not exceed a certain level, that windows be kept shut during certain hours and signage reminding patrons to be aware of their neighbours be installed.

Dr Scally, who has lived on Helen St for the past 10 years, appealed the decision to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in March and won.

In a decision published last week the court found Green Beacon could not extend their license because they did not properly consider the "impacts on the amenity of the community concerned" and the potential adverse effects on nearby residents.

In setting aside the brewery's provisional license, QCAT found the venue had provided an insufficient community impact statement prepared by an unnamed author.

Green Beacon Brewing Co’s popular range of craft beers.
Green Beacon Brewing Co’s popular range of craft beers.

The judgment said the statement assessed areas in Newstead, Bowen Hills, New Farm and Fortitude Valley as well as Teneriffe, rather than the suburb in isolation, to find the area was not "high risk".

Speaking to The Courier-Mail, Dr Scally said he encouraged development if it had a positive impact on the community that surrounded it.

He said he believed Green Beacon's proposed development would have negatively impacted its neighbours and the original decision by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming did not take into consideration all available facts.

"It was reassuring to know that there is a process where just one person can object," Dr Scally said.

"One person has the opportunity to challenge a judgment and it made me think there is justice in the world."

The deficient statement did not consider apartment buildings closer to the venue and wrongly described the venue as a nightclub which hosts karaoke, the tribunal found.

" … it is not apparent that the author consulted any residents and businesses within 200 metres of the site," the Judgement read.

" … I infer that the author of the community impact statement declined to undertake most if not all of the community consultation required …"

Green Beacon Brewing Co, which was recently bought by Japanese giant Asahi, will relodge its application. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Green Beacon Brewing Co, which was recently bought by Japanese giant Asahi, will relodge its application. Picture: Mark Cranitch

QCAT found the statement was "markedly partisan" and "portrayed the hotel proposal as entirely positive, without undertaking the required community consultation in the nearby area to discover whether there were downsides from the perspective of residents".

"Indeed, it failed to even acknowledge the existence of apartment dwellers in Helen and Wyandra streets," the Judgement read.

QCAT set aside the provisional commercial hotel license and refused the application.

Green Beacon is able to lodge a fresh application with an "accurate and full" community impact statement.

Dr Scally said he had not yet decided whether he would object again if a fresh application was lodged because of the "considerable time and resources" required to do so.