COOL BREEZE CAFE owner Georgia Johnson is “devastated” Bayswater city council has effectively forced her to close and sack eight staff.
She sat through a three-hour council meeting only to hear councillors reject her request to continue using a council power supply at Riverside Gardens.
Her coffee van has been at the Riverside car park in Maylands for more than two years, but the recent introduction of food van permits prompted the council to ask her to reapply as a “mobile” vendor and stop using its electricity.
“It would cost me $6500 to buy a mobile generator and another $1500 for a mobile food permit—I just can’t afford it,” Ms Johnson says.
“Nearly three years ago I went through all the rigmarole and expense of getting a development application approved and the council agreed to install a power point if I paid for the electricity.
“Now they want to pull the rug from under my feet and I have no choice but to shut down. I’m devastated.
“Having sat through the meeting, I can see there is a lot of support for development, but not much for the community.”
Since announcing the closure of her cafe on her Facebook page, Ms Johnson’s post has been viewed 9000 times and she has been inundated with messages of support:
“What the ?,” posted Cara Fanning. “are these people so out of touch. What an amazing addition you have been to the area which was crying out for a coffee/food vendor.”
“Sounds like a repeat of the Maylands Hawkers Markets,” posted Kylie Bryant. “I will be remembering when it is time to vote. Such a shame and a loss.”
Crs Stephanie Coates, Chris Cornish and Sylvan Albert voted for Ms Johnson to use the power.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK