Red tape madness: $1000 to get a sign approved
A MAROOCHYDORE businessman has been advised to spend $1000 getting approval for a sign worth a few hundred dollars.
The approval is one of a list of hoops that Danny's Desks and Chairs proprietor Lee Moore found he would have to jump through for the Sunshine Coast Regional Council after a building audit.
Mr Moore said council red tape was forcing business people like him to waste time solving silly problems at great cost.
"Yes, there's a certain amount of accountability, but I think there also needs to be a certain amount of common sense as well," he said.
Mr Moore said the 1m by 1.8m sign on the roof of his business had only cost him a few hundred dollars.
But he was told that he would have to pay a $711 application fee to the council to get approval for it. He was also advised to have a town planner lodge the application on his behalf, which he said would cost about $350.
"If I've got to employ someone else to lodge the form for me, doesn't that tell you something about how difficult the paperwork is?" he said.
The audit also required weeds be removed, a stake holding a tree be pulled out, and a bike rack be installed at the building - another requirement that left Mr Moore shaking his head.
"I'm a furniture store. If somebody was to come around and ride away with a desk or a chair on the back of their bike, I'd give it to them for free because it would be that impressive," Mr Moore said.
Mr Moore said he would comply with all requirements, but said the council's requirements went beyond common sense.
He said he supported Mayor Mark Jamieson and the council's push to lure businesses to the Coast, but said more needed to be done to smooth a path for small businesses.
"I supported Mark in the early days when he was going through the election phase and I still do...
"I don't know where it's going wrong. Why, down the chain, you've got all these guys walking around antagonising people for little things," he said.
A council spokesman confirmed that an audit at the Danny's Desks and Chairs premises had identified the bike rack, signage approval, and minor landscaping work for follow-up.
The spokesman said the audits were part of the council's "best practice approach" to development.
Another council representative referred the Daily to Cr Russell Green, who holds the regional planning portfolio, rather than the mayor for comment.
Cr Green said he did not know the Danny's Desks and Chairs site or its development approvals, but it would be a "free for all" if there were no rules - and the council generally tried to help businesses follow them.
"I can't provide a comment on a specific case, but council does everything it can to make it easy for business to be able to comply," he said.