Wegener win throws a lifeline to hinterland business – for now

Popular tourist café Bus Stop Espresso just outside Cooroy has been given an extension to operating beyond its scheduled closing date, due to an internal review of council’s process in this matter.

Noosa Councillor Tom Wegener, a major supporter of small business as well as being a strong advocate for local agriculture enterprise in Noosa’s hinterland, was the sole councillor supporter of Bus Stop’s application for a food and drink permit to supply coffee and offsite-prepared snacks at its rural Mary Valley Rd premises last November.

The council had itself encouraged Bus Stop owners Rob and Beth Noy to apply for the eat and drink permit, however it was voted down 6-1 at the council meeting.

“I am ecstatic,” Cr Wegener said.

“This now allows time for Rob and Beth at the Bus Stop to research and prepare a tourist attraction-based application, that recognises the huge following Bus Stop has, from locals as well as visitors to Noosa.”

Cr. Tom Wegener

A change.org petition, together with a separate petition at the bus for those without online access, drew more than 3000 responses – 2000 in the first fortnight alone – which included more than 700 from Noosa’s postcode catchment, and a similar number of NSW and Victorian visitors.

The business was set to close on February 21, however Cr Wegener said the extension, to operate while council enacts a level 2 investigation into the application and subsequent rejection process, “offered a pathway to a potential outcome that met both the requirements of the Noosa Plan, along with the huge support from local residents and tourists”. 

“Bus Stop Espresso was born out of the Covid world, which is still with us.  I believe we have much to learn from the phenomenon where the residents brought their own tables and chairs to socialize and feel safe while enjoying locally produced foods and coffee in this rural setting,” he said.

“This is exactly the kind of enterprise I have been lobbying for, where new and unique enterprises can flourish in Noosa’s hinterland and share in the benefits of Noosa Shire’s tourism experience.”


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