Summer reprieve for Geraldton’s foreshore gelato seller

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Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
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Olivia and Stella Ross, both 9, enjoying Tobias Dieterich's Fusions Gelato.
Camera IconOlivia and Stella Ross, both 9, enjoying Tobias Dieterich's Fusions Gelato. Credit: Elise Van Aken/The Geraldton Guardian

Fusions Gelato van has a temporary licence to continue operating on the Geraldton foreshore but Council is yet to decide whether to grant a new licence to owner Tobias Dieterich.

Mr Dietrich said he had been selling his home-made gelato in two locations, known as Site A and Site B, for three years before his licence expired on October 30.

Site A is near the Jaffle Shack kiosk and Champion Bay surf lifesaving club, and Site B is near the children’s playground further south.

At this month’s Council meeting Cr Sally Elphick said she objected to relicensing the van to use Site A.

“We already have two existing cafes — one operating and one about to open in this space so I believe this proposal is too close to them,” she said.

“If you go down to site A on a regular basis as I do you can see that Site A is already activated and having a food van is actually going to cause ‘over activation’.

“I have no problem with the van being at Site B — this is a space that does need activation.”

Mr Dieterich said he sold his home-made product almost exclusively at Site B, only venturing over to Site A when childrens’ swimming lessons were on, or for very occasional public events.

“I supported Waitangi Day down there and one other event which the community had put on,” he said.

Council voted 11-1 to endorse the application and is now inviting public comment for 14 days.

However councillors agreed to remove words from the motion that would have allowed officers to grant the licence if there were no objections.

Mayor Shane Van Styn said he expected a final decision at next months’ Council meeting.

“With all planning decisions there is a requirement to approve a preferred tender and we are required at law to put it out to public comment,” he said.

“That is what we have done so Council would have to reconvene at the conclusion of public comment.”

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