Toilet block dethrones burger giant from taking Chisholm Tavern

Michael Weaver 10 February 2021 29
Jennifer Hunt outside the Chisholm Tavern

Jennifer Hunt outside the Chisholm Tavern which has lived to fight another day. Photos: Supplied.

The Chisholm Tavern will live to serve another schnitzel and schooner after the ACT Government blocked the sale of a toilet block adjacent to the Tavern. The toilet block needed to be acquired and then knocked down for the McDonald’s Restaurant to be built.

The ongoing battle between the fast-food giant, the developer of the Chisholm Shopping Centre, the managers of the Chisholm Tavern and the ACT Government has been waged for almost two years.

Two previous development applications were not approved by the ACT Government, but this was overturned by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal on 18 January and the Chisholm Tavern managers of 29 years conceded defeat.

However, the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman, yesterday (9 February) decided not to approve the sale of public land adjacent to Chisholm Tavern “due to community concerns”.

The motion to prevent the sale of the toilet block was supported by Liberal MLA Mark Parton, Greens MLA Johnathan Davis and Labor’s Joy Burch, who announced the decision on her social media page last night after earlier tabling two petitions showing overwhelming public objections to the McDonald’s proposal.

Ms Burch told Region Media the community’s voice was vital and yesterday’s outcome shows the community does not support the proposal.

“These objections, and the community coming together to voice their concerns, were absolutely instrumental in the government’s recent decision not to sell the toilet block,” Ms Burch said.

“Both petitions called on the ACT Government to consult with the local community and consider their objections and I strongly believe this outcome demonstrates that the ACT Government did listen to the wishes of the local community.”

Amended plans

The amended plans for a proposed McDonald’s restaurant at Chisholm. Image: Supplied.

The owners of Chisholm Village Shopping Centre, Ganellen, can still lodge a further DA, however, a spokesperson would not comment when asked if they would submit a third DA.

After altering their initial DAs to facilitate issues around vehicle and pedestrian movement and parking issues, the sale of the public toilet block was crucial.

Chisholm resident Shane Carter had organised the two petitions and a Save the Chisholm Tavern group and said he was very happy for the managers of the Tavern, Jennifer and Graham Hunt.

“I just wanted to thank our community for their support in contacting our MLAs to say they didn’t want this to go ahead,” Mr Carter said. “And thank you to all our MLAs in Brindabella for listening.”

Mr Carter had been removed from the development proposal as he could not attend the ACAT hearing on 18 January due to ill health and his petition was not tabled.

READ ALSO: “I want to fight this,” says Chisholm Tavern manager over Maccas proposal

Ms Hunt said she will now look to spend some money on the venue which has long supported live music and the local community.

“It’s certainly been a roller-coaster for the last two years and this should be coming to an end now,” she said. “We’d said goodbye to everyone on Facebook a few weeks ago, but this definitely makes it very hard for the owners to put a McDonald’s here.”

“We definitely want to improve the venue, but haven’t because we’ve had this proposal hanging over our heads.”

Ms Hunt also said she was “eternally grateful” to the people who have supported the Tavern who are already celebrating there today.

“We couldn’t have done this without the community response. This year is our 30th anniversary on 29 September, and we’ll end up having it now after we didn’t think we’d be here.

“We will certainly thank the community because their support was just amazing,” she said.

Ms Burch also said future development of the Chisholm Shopping Centre is “a known option” but it was important that the community’s views were considered.

“It’s important that any future development proposals take into consideration options which complement the existing shops, fits the amenity, continues to support local business and is for the public good, taking into consideration all aspects including parking, safety and access,” Ms Burch said.

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29 Responses to Toilet block dethrones burger giant from taking Chisholm Tavern
Deref Deref 12:51 pm 15 Feb 21

McDonalds has restaurants now?

Vickie Quinn Vickie Quinn 8:17 pm 13 Feb 21

Yah ACT Government

Jacki Percival Jacki Percival 7:25 am 11 Feb 21

Three cheers for a toilet block! We’ve lived here for 37 years and never stepped inside the tavern, a den for after work tradies and Friday night burn outs, so we hold no affection for the place; however MacDonalds at Chisholm was just a grab to get the ski traffic and make the centre more saleable.
Leave Macdonalds on the highway away from our local shops, and leave the already crowded carpark to the locals. The old petrol station near Williamsdale or Michelago would be a better spot for a highway food stop

Shane Phoenix Shane Phoenix 10:06 pm 10 Feb 21

For now....

Aneta Petreski Aneta Petreski 9:03 pm 10 Feb 21

They should put a McDonald's next to Rose Cottage easy access off the hwy.

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 7:11 pm 10 Feb 21

there is a maccas at Erindale 2 kms away. how many cheeseburgers do these people need.??

    Tyson Clarke Tyson Clarke 8:15 am 11 Feb 21

    Hans Dimpel there’s also a Vikings club across the street.

    Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 8:19 am 11 Feb 21

    Tyson Clarke I get the impression that these sorts of businesses set up new franchises to wipe out competition rather than provide a service.

Kristy Hancock Kristy Hancock 6:35 pm 10 Feb 21

I just hope everyone who fought so hard against Maccas will support the traven with their patronage

Scott Fitzpatrick Scott Fitzpatrick 6:26 pm 10 Feb 21

You are kidding

Russell Heaton Russell Heaton 6:23 pm 10 Feb 21

Great news

Genny Herbert Genny Herbert 6:21 pm 10 Feb 21

Canberra beauracy at its finest.

Nick Timmer Nick Timmer 5:50 pm 10 Feb 21

Great news

Ray Green Ray Green 5:46 pm 10 Feb 21

Go the Tav 👍🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺

Shanna Amsteins Shanna Amsteins 5:11 pm 10 Feb 21


Wade Bermingham Wade Bermingham 4:42 pm 10 Feb 21

Its such a hard fight for a little pub

Trish Bissett Trish Bissett 4:42 pm 10 Feb 21

Dean Bissett seeeeeeeee

Ashlee Buckley Ashlee Buckley 4:38 pm 10 Feb 21

We get another birthday at the tav Shaun Buckley

Shane Westmore Shane Westmore 4:31 pm 10 Feb 21

"Mick Gentleman, yesterday decided not to approve the sale"... most appropriate name ever

Mirja Spannari Mirja Spannari 3:16 pm 10 Feb 21

Wow to good.

Stephen Hood Stephen Hood 3:02 pm 10 Feb 21

McDonald's dunnied over by a technicality.

Matthew Witt Matthew Witt 3:02 pm 10 Feb 21

Why all this support for a dive bar? Pub culture is a cancer on our society all ill be glad when they are gone.
Certainly won’t miss all the drink driving from lunch break benders.

    jwinston jwinston 2:44 pm 11 Feb 21

    Because there are over 20 Maccas in Canberra and only one “dive bar”.

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