“It’s tough to swallow,” said the wife of a Queensland steakhouse owner.
The family behind a new menu at the back of the Outback Steakhouse in Gladstone, north-west of Brisbane, have spent almost a decade trying to save the restaurant.
It has been a long journey for them, which started in 2011, when they were granted a special permit to open in the community of Biddeford.
A community member helped get the restaurant approved, but the business eventually had to close down after the owners were charged with failing to comply with the community’s environmental health standards.
They have been fighting for the right to reopen and have been in talks with the Queensland Government, who has granted them a special environmental permit.
But a community council on the Gold Coast has been pushing for a more robust community consultation process for restaurants in the town.
“It’s been tough,” said Marlene O’Brien.
“The business has been there for 17 years and they’ve been open and running and we’ve had nothing but good feedback from the community and the community has been fantastic.”
“We’ve been doing the community consultation, we’ve done a whole lot of work on the community side.”
It’s not just the business which has been affected by the council’s concerns.
There has also been a backlash from other members of the community, with some saying the restaurant should have closed for good.
“I think there should have been a community vote,” said one.
“They should have had a community meeting and it should have gone to a community committee to make sure we’re getting all the information that we need before we start building this new restaurant,” said another.
Community council member, Debbie Hynes said she has been in touch with the family of the restaurant and she is hopeful they will be able to find a new location.
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