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Geraldton microbrewery opening delayed as business fights liquor licence objection

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Microbrewery proponents Lynette and Dennis Healey.
Camera IconMicrobrewery proponents Lynette and Dennis Healey. Credit: Elise Van Aken

Plans for the grand opening of Geraldton’s new family-friendly microbrewery have been put on ice, as business owners battle a last-minute bid to stop the venture in its tracks.

The City of Greater Geraldton in November granted approval for the former nightclub and fitness centre building at 60 Fitzgerald Street to be transformed into a locally-owned microbrewery and reception centre.

Just 33 of the 215 public submissions received by the council were in opposition to the proposal, with concerns ranging from antisocial behaviour near the neighbouring Geraldton Primary School, parking and traffic congestion around school open and closing times, noise, odour emissions and rubbish generation.

Cr Kim Parker spoke against the motion, with the former Geraldton Primary School Parents and Citizens Association president saying his objection was not to having a microbrewery in Geraldton, but its location in proximity to the school.

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Batavia Brewing Company proprietors Dennis and Lynette Healy had hoped to have doors open and taps flowing by the end of March, but Mr Healy said an objection to their application for liquor licensing had ground construction to a halt.

A new microbrewery is proposed for this Fitzgerald St building part owned by Mayor Shane Van Styn
Camera IconA new microbrewery proposed for Fitzgerald Street has hit a snag with an objection to the liquor licence application. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

“We had all the tradies and everyone lined up, and we have just had to put everything on hold until we get an outcome,” he said.

“It’s frustrating because we have had so much support. We wouldn’t have gone ahead with it if the support wasn’t there.”

A Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries spokesperson said objections to the licence application had been received, but the department would not release information about the nature of the complaints.

“The application and the objections will be determined on their merits as required under the Liquor Control Act 1988. It is anticipated that a decision will be made in the next two to three weeks,” they said.

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