If cats were allowed to attend Noosa Council meetings, they may have finally herded in celebration of a rare win.
Our furry friends were awarded a special amendment to ensure their legal presence in the company of their owners at a newly recommended short-term accommodation (STA) house at Boreen Point.
Owners of the two-level, five-bedroomed dwelling on 10 hectares – a majority of the site mapped as Core Koala Habitat Area on Woongar St – have had their property approved for yet another hinterland STA, although conditions state the numbers attending the premises in any booking must not exceed eight (the applicant asked for 10).
At the July 17 General Committee meeting, despite a condition already included stating “… That pets occupying the premises must be managed and not cause a nuisance (including a noise nuisance)”, councillors curiously sought to add amendments, firstly to allow dogs “ … permitted on the property provided that they are permanently confined within buildings and/or fenced enclosures”: unanimously approved; and then “ … cats are permitted on the property provided that they are permanently confined within buildings”, leading this scribe to be fondly reminded of Monty Python’s Fish Licence sketch.
Before a Noah’s Ark list of species allowance options got underway, planning staff reminded councillors the issue of pets at the STA was covered in the conditions.
A further amendment to ensure heavily subdued outside lighting was also voted in – although once again, the reasons related to wildlife welfare, rather than human.
Another amendment to enforce the creation of a bushfire maintenance plan for the property was lost.
In the applicant’s favour it was pointed out that Boreen Pt had “only” nine existing STAs, but acknowledging that the local sailing club had indicated a lack of suitable accommodation for visitor participants.
The impact-assessable application was approved subject to the now-standard local law provisions covering STAs, including that the location not be used as a “party house”.
More seriously, neighbours could be forgiven, however, for holding concerns over a 10-hectare – un-hosted – property, currently heavily fuelled by La Nina induced vegetation growth, facing a possible El Nino dry, being potentially placed in the hands of a group of urban dwellers utterly devoid of rural living experience and koala habitat knowledge, who might “fail to see” the hopefully prominently placed notice forbidding outside fires anywhere on the property.
After all, as with all holidaymakers they’re just “out to have a good time”.
Then just add alcohol.