THE future of the Cool Breeze Cafe is secure after more than 1000 locals signed a petition calling on Bayswater council to let the cafe keep going in Riverside Gardens.
The future of the popular coffee van had been in jeopardy after the council rejected a request from owner Georgia Johnson to continue using the city’s power supply (Voice, February 26, 2015).
The council rescinded that rejection Tuesday and voted to allow Ms Johnson to continue using its power for another year (she has paid for electricity since opening in 2013).
“We are happy that the avalanche of public support forced the council to change their decision,” Ms Johnson says.
Since the tussle started, Cool Breeze’s Facebook page has been liked by thousands and Ms Johnson has been inundated with support.
Cr Alan Radford doesn’t care about the public support, however. He says Cool Breeze has not abided by the council’s food van policy (which came into force more than a year after the van started business).
“I find it offensive it doesn’t apply by the rules,” he says.
“It’s not a level playing field with other operators.”
Cr Terry Kenyon says the policy needs amending or the council will be forever granting special dispensations.
The meeting descended into farce after a councillor spotted a typo in the agenda, sparking several minutes of bickering and grandstanding.
“This is embarrassing in front of our ratepayers,” former mayor Kenyon told colleagues. “We have made a bunny out of a kangaroo court.”
The council also voted to look into building a permanent cafe at Riverside Gardens.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK