Community backlash and complaint lead to lease review

A Council decision to take the Jetty Kiosk lease off Salute espresso and award it to The Hub Cafe is now under review. Photo: Salute espresso Facebook site.

 

FOLLOWING community backlash and the lodgement of a formal complaint, Coffs Harbour City Council is now undertaking an external review of the process applied to selecting the new lessee for the Jetty Kiosk site.

Council has confirmed the external review, but has refused to comment on the matter, instead stating that “it is not appropriate to discuss details while a review is underway”.

The controversial matter was raised by councillors at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on Thursday 22 April with Cr Tegan Swan bringing up the issue as a Matter of an Urgent Nature at the meeting due to Salute espresso’s current lease at the Jetty Kiosk ending on Monday 26 April.

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Council’s Acting General Manager Andrew Beswick stated at the meeting that the matter was being pursued under Council’s Complaints Policy.

“It’s being pursued under Council’s Complaints Policy and there’s a process being undertaken through that,” Mr Beswick stated at the meeting.

Cr Sally Townley asked if Council could consider the matter urgent due to the lease ending soon.

“Could it please be considered urgent that timeframes are advised to people, obviously it’s a matter of great importance to people, jobs etc,” Cr Townley asked.

Mr Beswick stated that the timeframe would be advised and that the process would be expedited.

Salute espresso has been operating at the popular Jetty Kiosk site at Coffs Harbour Jetty since December 2017.

Council opened up expressions of interest for a new lease at the site in February and chose The Hub as the successful new operator of the business.

The Hub operates other Hub Cafes in Sawtell and Woolgoolga and the Hub Kiosk at C.ex International Stadium.

On 7 April Salute espresso stated on its Facebook site “we took some hard news. Council has decided to not renew our lease at the Jetty kiosk so with a heavy heart we wanted to let you all know we will be serving our last friendly coffees and Acai bowls on the 26th April”.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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