Receiving our approval to begin operational works this week was a milestone in what has felt like a very long and laborious journey.
In our initial consultation with a town planner back in March 2018, a comment was made suggesting that if everything went smoothly and we had no unforeseen delays, or information requests, and no one sneezed, we could maybe, possibly, hope to be open in September.
We were delighted, and said we had planned for Christmas so September would be even better! She apologised for the confusion and explained she meant September 2019, and thought we understood that any date in 2018 was completely off the table. It was a reality check and the first indication that this process was going to be a lot longer than we had first thought.
After 18 months of planning, designing, surveying, multiple submissions to Noosa Council and other state referral agencies, and oh so many thousands of dollars in application fees, engineering fees, permits, public notifications and further information requests, we are finally at the stage where we can put a symbolic shovel in the ground. But all that hard earned money and time - with nothing tangible to show for it to date - is painful to swallow.
We have absorbed the frustrations of bureaucracy and are nearly on the other side. Does it make the memory of the further information request that arrived on Christmas Eve less painful? No. But would we go back in time and choose a different path, knowing what we know now? Another No. We have held tight to our goals throughout it all, and our vision of what we want to create is now clearer and more achievable than ever.
Friends have asked how we celebrated the milestone this week. Truth is, we read through the many pages of conditions and went straight into planning the next steps. Then we went and burnt some weed in the moonlight. That might sound like something illicit and fun, but no...we literally just burnt Lantana weeds. And it’s a really crappy job, because you have to snap it all up into small enough pieces to fit directly on the heart of the fire, and beyond being a scratchy, entangled, take your eye out, bane of our existence, it also doesn’t burn easily.
Perhaps it was a metaphor. Throw down a challenge – a prolifically spreading entangled mess that is awkward and time-consuming to remove, risky to skin and eyeballs, and seems like an impossible task to overcome, and we will persevere, with commitment and focus, breaking it into manageable pieces and keep the fire burning.
Or maybe it’s just another job we can tick off as we creep forward towards our goal. Either way! 😜