Tolga Hotel gets greenlight for upgrade

In Alcohol, Attractions, Featured Home Page News, Queensland

Refurbishment plans for pub baron Tom Hedley’s tolga hotel have been given the green light.

Mayor Rod Marti said, “Whether we have shrubs one side or the other side, we want the awning, we don’t want the awning, we had a long discussion about this piece of land at an earlier meeting and I think it’s time we got on with it,

Plans include an extension to the bistro, building improvements to enclose the existing drive-through bottle shop, more toilets, a children’s play room and extensions to the kitchen.

At an earlier meeting, council gave the green light for a 1479sq m parcel of land that formed part of the Rail Trail to be relinquished back to Transport and Main Roads, so Mr Hedley could use it for the renovations.

Mr Hedley has a pub portfolio including the recently-acquired Imperial Tavern at Innisfail, Great Northern Hotel at Gordonvale, Red Beret Hotel at Redlynch, Ye Olde Gordonvale Hotel and the Carrington Hotel in Atherton.

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More than 50 submissions opposing pub baron Tom Hedley’s expanded car park and renovations to a Tablelands Hotel failed to stop the developer from getting the green light.

At the most recent Tablelands Regional Council meeting, councillors debated at length whether landscaping should be on one side of the fence or the other, and whether there should be an awning over the bottle shop.

But Mayor Rod Marti cut the talks short.

“Whether we have shrubs one side or the other side, we want the awning, we don’t want the awning, we had a long discussion about this piece of land at an earlier meeting and I think it’s time we got on with it,” Cr Marti said.

He moved a procedural motion, that the motion to approve the development put by Cr Peter Hodge and seconded by Cr Kevin Cardew.

The procedural motion passed with a 4:2 vote.

Mr Hedley plans an extension to the bistro, building improvements to enclose the existing drive-through bottle shop, more toilets, a children’s play room and extensions to the kitchen.

At an earlier meeting, council gave the green light for a 1479sq m parcel of land that formed part of the Rail Trail to be relinquished back to Transport and Main Roads, so Mr Hedley could use it for the renovations.

Mr Hedley sought to sublease the handkerchief-sized bit of land from council, which leases it from the state government – but local cycling groups vehemently opposed it.

Council received more than 50 submissions on the issue but they were not made public until the April 28 meeting.

The Rail Trail land was sought for parking.

The Tolga Hotel is a popular spot for cyclists to gather after a ride. Picture: supplied.

The Tolga Hotel is a popular spot for cyclists to gather after a ride. Picture: supplied.

Resident Dennis Lee Sye said it was “astounding” a portion of the Rail Trail “can be subdivided for the convenience of the Hotel King patrons.”

Several residents expressed outrage when a landmark Poinciana tree on the site was chopped down.

“It’s absolutely appalling and many people were heartbroken to see this beautiful tree gone without any consultation from the community,” Jen Fleming said.

“The carpark will be an eyesore.”

Kathy Kilpatrick said it would be a shame if council turned public recreational land into private car parks.

Leigh Gargan said, “what was once a beautiful part of our town is being transformed into a concrete eyesore.”

And Nick Wardrop said it was “reprehensible.”

Mr Hedley has a pub portfolio including the recently-acquired Imperial Tavern at Innisfail, Great Northern Hotel at Gordonvale, Red Beret Hotel at Redlynch, Ye Olde Gordonvale Hotel and the Carrington Hotel in Atherton.

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