Ben Musu, owner of Targa restaurant in Byron Bay.
Ben Musu, owner of Targa restaurant in Byron Bay.

Targa wins trading hours battle

A BYRON BAY restaurateur says sanity has prevailed dafter succeeding in the NSW Land and Environment Court last week in having his trading hours extended from 10pm to midnight.

A relieved Ben Musu, who owns and operates the Targa Italian restaurant, described it as a good win, though an unnecessary financial drain on his business.

Targa is situated on the corner of Marvell and Middleton streets, between two other restaurants currently licensed to trade until midnight.

Despite a recommendation by Byron Shire Council planning staff to approve the extended trading hours application, councillors voted against the Section 96 application in December, citing the potential for excess noise, anti-social behaviour and residential disturbance.

“My disappointment is that councillors are regarding all licences as contributors to (anti-social problems) in Byron Bay, but there’s no distinction being made between restaurants and nightclubs,” he said.

“That’s largely my issue – we don’t regard our target market, or the actual people who come and go from our restaurants, as contributing to those problems in any way whatsoever.”

The council chose not to defend the action, eventually settling out of court with Mr Musu after he approached council though its public access forum.

Regardless, the Land and Environment Court commissioner who heard the consent orders last week ruled in favour of the applicant and noted that the objections were “rather unreasonable”.



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