LEAVING TOWN: Dierdre Gray and her husband Jeff Hogue are taking their business elsewhere.
LEAVING TOWN: Dierdre Gray and her husband Jeff Hogue are taking their business elsewhere. Arthur Gorrie

Council dispute fallout - they're taking their business elsewhere (and six jobs with it)

DIERDRE Gray and her husband Jeff Hogue are taking their business elsewhere, literally, including the six full-time jobs that go with it.

Ms Gray says her health will not allow her to keep arguing with Gympie Regional Council and nor will her finances.

The owner of Gympie Solar Centre says that after 26 years in Gympie, she has changed the business name to Solar WattsUp to facilitate moving to the Sunshine Coast.

Ms Gray has been ordered to pay legal costs to the council after withdrawing from an appeal against a council decision that the business is no longer allowed to operate at its residential-zoned Violet St address. She says the business has been given one year to move, but it will not take her that long. Her husband, whose plumbing business employs a local apprentice, has only a week to go.

"We're selling the six properties we have left in Gympie region,” she said.

"Councillors told us they were not allowed to talk to us and a lot of them seem to have obeyed. They don't want us, so we're out of here.”

Mayor Mick Curran said it would not be proper or transparent for councillors to have private talks with someone involved in legal action with the council.

"The business moved from an appropriately zoned commercial area and we have an obligation to protect the amenity of people's homes,” he said.

"We encourage people with proposals to contact council planning staff so they can help find a way forward within the planning scheme,” he said.

Gympie Times


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