Farmer claims a win as ‘common sense prevails’
A Sunshine Coast farmer says common sense has prevailed after arguing with the council for 18 months to keep signs up on his property.
Sunshine Coast Council has agreed to work with Peter Wise and several groups to ensure the signs on Mr Wise's property comply with local laws.
For almost 20 years Mr Wise has used his Sunshine Motorway facing property, Wise's Farm, to give free advertising to causes he believes in.
Last Wednesday, the Daily reported that Mr Wise received a show cause notice, with the potential to be fined $600,000, to pull the signs down or address noncompliance issues within 30 days.
The matter was also reported on national television program A Current Affair on Tuesday night.
The council has now agreed to waive fees for the community groups to lodge the application for a structure permit.
Mr Wise said a Sunshine Coast town planner has also offered to complete the application for the groups free of charge.
"Common sense will prevail … I'm happy with the result," he said.
"I just wish it didn't have to go on for 18 months for this sensible outcome."
The Guide Dogs, Crimestoppers and Lifepointe Baptist Church signs have been on his property for more than 15 years, free of charge from Mr Wise.
But the enforcement notice from the council did not concern Mr Wise's most controversial advertisement, the Sunshine Coast Safer Communities' No Sharia Here sign, because it was compliant with local laws.
A council spokesman said the council had worked with Mr Wise since April 2019 to resolve the issues, following concerns raised by the community.
The enforcement notice concerned the Fresh Figs Wises Rd, Shade Sheds, Lifepointe, Guide Dogs and Crimestoppers signs.
"Council officers will continue to work with the Wises Road property owner to achieve compliance and in the event an application is lodged, the specific fees for such an application will be waived given the community and non-for-profit nature of the signs," they said.
"It is council's preferred approach that where possible, structures are adequately assessed to ensure safety, amenity and land uses are addressed."