Cairns Wedding Industry Questions Cairns City Council Over Permits and Fees – Dec 2013December 31, 2013 8:32 PM
In September the Cairns wedding industry got together at an event at the Cairns Hilton Hotel (to read all about it click here) for their quarterly networking event. There were around 100 attendees and on the night they raised around $200 for the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island.
This was an extra special event as the whole industry had been talking about the onerous council permits and licences that are required if you wish to be married in a public place within the boundaries of Cairns City.
We sent an invitation to Brett Spencer who headed up Cairns Parks and Gardens as the Manager and he kindly accepted and came to the event with his assistant Patricia as our guest speakers. Brett addressed the wedding suppliers on the councils wedding permits and then the wedding suppliers asked questions of the councillors. You can read more about the evening here.
Cairns Wedding Suppliers Questions To Cairns City Council
We have set down below a list of all the questions that we had collated over a number of weeks after this event so that they could be submitted to the Cairns City Council on behalf of the wedding industry in a more formal and organised meeting.
Please read here all of the questions the wedding suppliers of Cairns wrote for submission to the Cairns City Council.
Questions to the Council:
- Please explain how and why the council has come up with these permits?
- Please explain Councils Business model and who came up with it and please explain why?
- Please show us a profit and loss on the so called business model if in fact council actually has one?
- Has the council even thought of the ramifications of all this nonsense ie potential upset and or violence when enforcing permits and moving on sunbakers or families enjoying picnics in our permits specific location?
- What is the council doing with the revenue they raise from this impost?
- These are public assets paid for by us local ratepayers and we have every right to use these public assets and take photographs
- Is the council going to recruit staff to police websites and facebook and Instagram and kik and all other social media of today and in the future of local photographers and interstate and overseas photographers for any images of Cairns parks and beaches now and if so how many new staff will you need and how much is it going to cost us ratepayers to pay these website trawlers ?
- Will the Cairns City Council allocate this big brother job to the people they have sent to Port Douglas that are now out of a job?
- Council needs to explain to ratepayers how they are going to manage and police all of this idiocracy
- Is Cairns City Council aware of our declining destination wedding business into Cairns and surrounding regions?
- Is Cairns City Council aware we are losing weddings to destinations like Bali, Fiji, Thailand, New Zealand and Vanuatu because of our rules and regulations and costs?
- Please explain how these council permits are going to attract more destination weddings to the Cairns region?
- Please explain why this is a good decision by council to apply permits for weddings in public areas?
- What other councils in Australia or anywhere else in the world have instituted permit fees such as the ones they are making us pay? Have they had success in attracting more weddings because of the permits?
- Why can’t we hire the space at the front of Angsana Resort & Spa/Far Horizons? Why is it off limits to other couples?
- Why should couples eloping pay the same price permit as those who have a group of guests? There should be an individual price for couples eloping.
- Why isn’t Palm Cove’s beach wedding structure better? Instead of 4 hour blocks could we make it 2 hour blocks? It will generate more weddings in our region.
- The council has mentioned that they will cordon off sections for weddings and move on sunbakers and beach goers. Why have we not ever seen a section cordoned off as yet?
- Who approves the wedding permit for the decking next to the Salt House?
- Wedding celebrants are rate payers so why can’t we utilize the grass areas out the front of Angsana if there is no wedding scheduled in the Angsana Chapel
- Please define a ‘Low Impact’ wedding ceremony?
- Where do we stand as a supplier when we have a permit? Can we or not move people along when we have a permit? Can we please have clarification on what we can and can’t do?
- In regards to other businesses setting up on the beach, what are the rules here? How do permits cross over?
- Why do photographers have to pay as much as a TV commercial crew?
- Why aren’t the council prepared to have a phone on weekends to help police the outdoor areas? Why aren’t they working on the weekends? We follow the rules and purchase a permit every time and then have to do the council’s work by moving people on (and other wedding suppliers who do not obtain the permit) How do you police this?
- I would like to know if the Cairns City Council can consider doing direct deposit or have credit cards facilities for bookings? A number of my couples are from down south or overseas and it is rather difficult for them to get the time to send through a bank cheque. Most of the time we end up having to do is: the couples forward the funds to me and I go to Cairns City Council to make the payment.
- Botanical Gardens
- 1 hour set up is not enough time. It is only a 15-20 minute window as guests arrive 30 minutes early to weddings. Setting up while guests start arriving looks bad. No wow factor.
- Auditorium is in full sun. Can we have shade cloths?
- Can we park in Goodwin Street? Can we have access to the side gate? (up the hill wedding)
- Why do we have to be out of the garden’s by 4:00pm? the Botanical Gardens shut at 5:00pm
- Bumping out – not enough time
- Wangetti – rubbish bins are dreadful. Can there be new bins introduced?
- Little Cove – 8 chairs only. Why?
- What are the differences between film and photography? What are the permits different?
- Why can’t we have yearly permits?
- On the night I spoke to the lady from the Cairns City Council, and she indicated that as a Videographer I would need a permit to shoot a function on council land, separate from the other parties involved. Is this true?We were told that there is a fee of $70.00 for the use of the council land for a small event such as a wedding. The question was “Who has to pay this fee? The wedding organiser? The couple? The celebrant? The photographer or the videographer?Well the answer came back as all FIVE. Yes that is what I was told by Brett’s council colleagues on the night.Why do ALL have to pay and how are they going to enforce this? (…oh I thought the bride paid it? No, i thought the photographer paid it etc…). The photographer rings the council and pays for the “plot” of land to use for the wedding and then the celebrant rings the council to be told no that’s already taken you will have to go elsewhere.Does this fee also stand for the photographer and videographer when they do a location shoot anywhere else away from the original ceremony area? And again is it a fee that has to be paid by all involved (Photographer, Videographer, Bride & Groom) for every location we go on the day? Admittedly I was told that the council were going to look into this but I would like Brett to make a formal comment on this issue
- What are the new licencing/permits that are now required for public parks and beaches? Please describe them. What is to be done to get an approval? What is the cost?
- How many chairs are allowed on the sand area on the beach off the Palm Cove Jetty end? Same question for the sandy beach area at the front of Aloha & Villa Paradiso?
- Can you please confirm if there is a secondary application we should be lodging as well as the current one online as there is only one form to download onb the Cairns Council website?
- Can temporary structures such as an arbour be erected on the Jetty end, out the front of Aloha & Villa Paradiso? Please confirm the cost to access the public power boxes and the most direct way to obtain a key to these?
- At most beach ceremonies, a portable PA system is used to play anywhere between 1 to 5 songs during the ceremony. As this is amplified music, is this likely to be rejected upon consideration?
- What systems does the Cairns City Council have in place to eliminate or decrease double bookings?
- May you please confirm capacity limitations for the beach area in front of Aloha & Villa Paradiso as well as Angsana Resort & Spa/Far Horizons?
- My question would be: does the Cairns City Council differentiate between large groups and small intimate groups? If I have a wedding which is only, for instance, 9 guests including the bride and groom, do they need a permit? If so, are they to be charged the booking fee as well even though it is a small group? For a large wedding of perhaps 100 guests I could understand the need to book and pay for covering cleaning fees etc… I also understand the requirement to book ahead of time, just in case there is another wedding in the same location, but the fee is really my query?
- Thank you for giving us the opportunity once more to address the Cairns Regional Council re: issuing permits for beach frontage and parks in regards to wedding ceremony usage.
Patricia Andrews did address the celebrants earlier this year at a meeting, which was very much appreciated, and addressed some of the issues raised at question time.
It would be appreciated by all involved with weddings in Palm Cove, celebrants, suppliers and couples, if the Cairns Regional Council could rectify/amend the policy of the present restricted booking procedure that is in place near sweet Creek mouth of Palm Cove on the lawn foreshore. This area epitomizes the ‘tropical beach wedding’ most couples envisage as a romantic quiet spot to exchange their vows. The public should have the opportunity to share this space. There should also be a policy of equity in the payment of permits for use of designated areas.
A couple of points:
There should be a ‘first in, first served’ policy in hiring beachfront locations on public lands.
All persons/entities hiring a public area to pay the same fee. There should be no exclusions.
On the 29th January 2013, an email was sent to me indicating that the Council would be ‘taking bookings for the area adjacent to the Angsana Resort & Spa from the 1st march 2013 on a ‘first in, first served’ basis. This has not occurred.
A more concise explanation should be available re: any zoning or re-zoning of public land that may have been done.
The public should be informed of the reason for a company having exclusive use of public land.
Map of public and private land – area from mouth of Sweet Creek to Veivers Road – to be presented at a meeting for further clarification; see coloured map: property of the Cairns Regional Council of 25 May 2011 Plan No. Na / Sheet 1 of 1. There is a COPYRIGHT on the map so I dare not to attach it. This map shows the definite Property Boundary, Road Reserve and High Water limit. It is important that this mpa is exhibited for discussion at any meeting.
1 Hour Permit:
1 hour booking at the Botanic Gardens to be extended please to allow reasonable time for setup, ceremony, congratulations, photos and pack up time.
In spite of Council stating that beach permits are for 2 hours, in June (11/06/2013) I had a ceremony that only had 1 hour allocated on the beach at Clifton Beach. Copy available.
Cairns Harbourside Area:
Clarification of just what areas around the Salthouse near the Pier are controlled by (a) Port Authority and (b) Cairns Regional Council.
If you have more concerns you would like to be brought up, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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