Distillery owner Brian Bedding is in high spirits as he prepares to open a bar at his Coast business instead of heading to the bar table of a courtroom.
Mr Bedding and his wife Nadia feel vindicated after a settlement with the Noosa Council to allow them to sell their product from their Twenty 20 Distillery in Cooroy to tour parties.
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The former passionate home brewer, who has been working fly-in fly-out in the Pilbara to help fund their venture, said the settlement would be the making of the hinterland’s latest spirits-driven attraction.
Mr Bedding said he gave away his home brewing equipment including a keg fridge in 2008 and started fly-in, fly-out work in 2011 to save for a distillery.
“The business is something we’ve put our life savings into, we’ve mortgaged our house, we moved out of the house in Brisbane and moved to Sunny Coast and set it up in Cooroy,” Mr Bedding said.
Noosa councillors are expected to sign off on the deal on Thursday afternoon after voting unanimously at last Monday’s general committee meeting to allow the distillery to serve up drinks on site.
Conditions will include reduced trading hours and provision of a free courtesy bus.
“It’s been a dream of ours to open a distillery for many years and the retail side of it is the kick-starter to our wholesale business,” Mr Bedding said.
“Without that cashflow our business has a very, very different model, so it’s certainly been a relief.
“My wife and I are really happy.
“It would be good when you do your DA (development application) that you could actually sit down with council prior because as much as council mediation is great and working with council has got us a great result, that (legal process) has cost me $23,000,” Mr Bedding said.
He said the court meditation process would be best avoided if possible due to the cost.
Mr Bedding said an application pre-lodgement meeting with council planners could have addressed all the planning issues before application went before councillors.
“I did most of the talking during the mediation,” he said.
Council development assessment manager Kerri Coyle last Monday commended the Beddings on their approach to mediation and their willingness to find solutions.
“The outcome is going to maintain the primary use of the site as industrial and they have demonstrated the bar will only operate as an ancillary type capacity,” Ms Coyle said.
“The mediation was very successful and was quite surprising.
“The discussions progressed well and the staff put forward the issues of the appeal and the applicant was very flexible coming back with ‘well this is what we can do to address those issues’.
“So congratulations to the applicant for working with officers.”