Local, Opinion/Comment

Council, Two Tails and ‘the dog attack’

Could a highly publicised dog attack that occurred near their property, filmed by Two Tails CCTV cameras, be a major reason as to why the winery/restaurant has been forced to go to the Land and Environment Court to get a ruling on an amended DA lodged around May of last year?

By the Editor

This is the question many in Nana Glen are asking themselves while also arriving at the answer; “Yes, quite possibly.”

On October 30 this year we published a story about the ongoing DA saga. See; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/?p=36988

We pointed out then that essentially Two Tails had asked for the ability to seat more restaurant customers on their deck and outdoors so as to be able to expand their business in what they argue is an environmentally sustainable matter. The previous limit was twenty customers which Two Tails argues is uneconomic.

Could this incident be why Two Tails seems to be having trouble with their DA?

In addition we explained Two Tails (TT) have also asked as part of the DA that customers also be able to have a picnic style experience on the grass area surrounding the restaurant using ‘bean bags’ or similar.

We also outlined that the Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) had listed 59 items relating to a wide range of matters they wanted addressed prior to approving a DA. 

Matters such as extra parking, amended access, sound barrier erections, water, toilet and sewerage changes (which had already been done by TT), limits on the number of customers to a table, issues pertaining to a liquor license (something which Council has not authority over – it is a state government jurisdictional matter), opening and closing hours, restrictions on dining on the lawn area, goods delivery limitations and restrictions on the landing of helicopters near the restaurant to name a few.

Two Tails estimated that if agreed to these changes could cost in the vicinity of $1m.

They also estimated that their legal and associated costs in dealing with Council’s requests was approximately $500,000, none of which could be claimed back if Two Tails are successful in the Land and Environment Court.

Many comments both here at CCO and on social media such as local Facebook sites were along the lines of; “what does Council have against Two Tails?”

Today we address that issue.

The Dog Attack

In May 2019 CCTV cameras caught footage of a large dog, allegedly from a neighbouring property, crossing Two Tails property and then attacking a women and her dog. The women was taking her smaller dog for a walk on Orara Way in front of Two Tails Winery.

So what,” I hear you say, “why would Council be worried about that?

Consider the following.

The attack came shortly after Two Tails amended DA had been lodged. It was Two Tails cameras that caught the incident and it was from there that the incident ‘went viral’.

Aided by postings on social media from a well known Nana Glen family and others there were approximtely 32 milllion Facebook views and roughly 320,000 shares of the incident.

It also went national on Channel 7 news, Triple M and also other NSW radio stations.

Locally The Coffs Coast Advocate ran stories on it that included video of the attack which can be viewed here; https://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/videos/dog-attack-5/60068/

Other Advocate stories also appeared including this one; https://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/council-responds-to-dog-attack-criticism/3424401/

CCO has been reliably informed that senior CHCC officials reached out to the prominent Nana Glen family asking them to remove their Facebook activity in regards to this incident.

Why? Because Nana Glen residents suspect it was a PR disaster for Coffs Harbour and, by association, the CHCC.

More than a few of the residents believe, rightly or wrongly, that the CHCC blames Two Tails for this and have been determined to stymie the DA as a result.

We know it is an opinion shared by Two Tails.

And so possibly it is partially an answer to those who wonder why Two Tails seems to be getting ‘unique treatment’ from Council.

State Government asks Councils to make it easier to dine outdoors.

Below we reproduce recent flyers outlining the NSW State Governments new policy on what councils can do to make outdoor dining easier this forthcoming summer during the Covid 19 crisis;

Note the bit where State Government asks councils to examine how they can streamline outdoor dining approvals while also taking care of public safety?

On 5 November Rob Trezise the editor of the Coffs Coast Independent News Facebook site, posted roughly the following in relation to this;

“The Minister For Local Government, Shelley Hancock has released a document for Councils to encourage outdoor dining over Summer with Covid 19 Guide lines in place. Although Two Tails Wines, tmay be excluded from this under the current issue the Planning Department of the Coffs Harbour City Council have with their Velvets Restaurants’ outdoor dining spaces asked for conditions that no other establishment seems to have faced before in a DA application. How about it Steve McGrath, as Council’s General Manager will you follow the Minister advice and change direction on Two Tails Wines?”

To which we here at CCO say; “Here, here great question Rob!”

So far we understand the answer to Rob from council has been “………. crickets……………more crickets………… even more crickets………..”

LOL funny animals photo meme silence Awkward cricket awkward silence  crickets catch7 •

Maybe it’s because Council doesn’t think state Government’s policy guidelines are worthy of application to places like Nana Glen?

Velvets to open in Jetty strip too

Recently award winning Two Tails publicly announced that they are going to open up a Velvets restaurant in the jetty strip in Coffs Harbour addition to the Velvets in Nana Glen.

The following is a Facebook announcement made by Two Tails on 30 October last;

Genuinely adjoining and affected?

Next week in our third installment on this issue we will look at whether the CHCC notified only genuinely adjoining and affected landowners for a period of 14 days after the lodgement of the readjusted 2019 DA 0160/19 as stated in the 12 March 2020 CHCC council meeting agenda.

7 Comments

  1. Denise Hansford

    I have never been able to understand why are council was so obstructive and what seemed unreasonable towards Two Tails. These types of venues are exactly what needs to be happening in Orara Valley. Could our council be this petty and childish to be wanting to punish TT?

  2. 40cmPedestalFan

    A couple of thoughts for what they’re worth.

    Let’s say Council is entirely within its rights to set these conditions for Two Tails – it doesn’t read that way, but let’s say it is so for the sake of this point: This is a public relations disaster for CHCC. So what is Council doing about that? Just let it run?

    What if Council has handled this incorrectly? What is it doing about it? Just let it run?

    Isn’t there a pattern here? With Biomass, Two Tails, the Airport, the CCS to name a few? This Council is characterised by an inability to deal with matters before they get out of hand, then an inability to deal with the subsequent rotten public relations because it couldn’t head off problems in the first place.

    If this were a newly elected Council, say, and a brand new General Manager – what would that council’s response be, in each of these matters? Would it make the clear decision to engage with the public and do what it can to restore public support and trust? Would a brand new council be more mindful of its responsibilities as a representative body?

    Of course it would. So why not this one?

    No meaningful public engagement. No expressed sense of public responsibility. No openness; nothing that suggests (let alone proves) an ability to negotiate and resolve an issue early. Just this stonewall secrecy, arrogance, obtuseness and continued perception of failure if not actual failure.

    There’s a foul, cagey cliquishness in this Council that comes from untalented personages being there too long. A proper manager, and proper Mayor, would recognise this. So, too, a councillor with a backbone. Yet instead of someone in the place making a stand, stopping the ever-growing perception (to me, truth) that this is the worst council Coffs Harbour has had in its history and setting about a public relations engagement that shows it’s listening and genuinely wishes to work with the public, this council believes that glossy high-worded spiels and populist lines are all that’s needed.

    Would anyone running a business put up with this sort of public characterisation? Never. But this bottom-dwelling talentless assemblage will simply go on and on ever letting it worsen.

    There’s a sickness in it.

    • Karl Marx famously wrote that archetypal figures appear twice in history: first in the form of tragedy, and again as farce.
      I imagine that many of us wonder how the Knight-McGrath collusive duopoly might end.

  3. Shirley Ambrose

    For what was obviously a vicious attack by the offending dog, its owner got off very lightly indeed with a Proposed Nuisance Dog Order. As can be seen in the footage, if it wasn’t for the heroic actions of the owner to shield her smaller dog, it would’ve been ripped to pieces. The owner of the attacking dog should at least have been given a substantial fine.

  4. Great article! If TT legal bill is already at $500k plus what so the CPI cold legal bill? Another waste of money from our rate payers! Didn’t that same dog attack another dog on the beach and still got away with it some weeks later?

  5. If TT legal bills are at $500k plus! What would the coffs council legal fees be on this? Another example of how they waste our hard earning rate payers money!

  6. Donald Trump’s attitude to Covid has been: ignore it and it will go away; tell people that it does not exist, and it will not; deny any and all responsibility and blame someone else; tell and repeat lies which support a false view. His challenge to the election result mirrors this attitude. It is clear that Trump’s mantra is “baffle them with bullshit”.

    CHCC is playing the game according to Trump’s rule book. He issues multiple lawsuits against anybody who opposes his wishes. CHCC makes it virtually impossible to argue against its decisions because it has the financial resources necessary to blow any opposition out of the court. CHCC abuses its power because it can.

    As PedestalFan has indicated, CHCC is entirely incompetent in all respects, except in its capacity to mismanage, create conflict and deny responsibility for the outcomes of its inappropriate behaviours. What we are seeing in the Two Tails fiasco, is nothing more than a local government organisation using the power of its position to obliterate those who threaten it.

    Sadly, despite this council’s appalling record, the State Government, in full and certain knowledge of the gross incompetence of the council, continues to allow it to offend. We need to remove both of these governments at the earliest possible opportunity.

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