UPDATE: Shisha restaurant moves ahead, after red tape delays
DANIEL Shisha Restaurant is back on the path to footpath dining with Gladstone Regional Council recommencing their application on Thursday afternoon.
Following today's front page story in the Observer, owner Mr Hamwai was contacted via email by a council environmental health advisor informing him written advice from Queensland Health was received yesterday and the application would continue.
Today the council's environmental health advisors met with road services representatives and discussed the footpath.
It was concluded that an amendment to Mr Hamawi's application will need to be made and a meeting organised for November 23.
Owner Hassan Hamawi was happy the application was moving ahead and he was closer to making some money.
"I'm not sure if it is a coincidence it was on the same day as the story but at least we're going forward," he said.
"Not good they want to meet about the footpath but at least we are moving forward now."
GLADSTONE'S first Turkish restaurant was ready to open for business a month ago.
But instead of serving customers and earning a livelihood, the entrepreneurial owners are forking out rent and maintaining a restaurant that only they can use.
Daniel Shisha Restaurant owners Wasim Khitib and Hassan Hamawi say they have been ping-ponged between Gladstone Regional Council and Queensland Health Department.
Mr Hamawi has a vision of a vibrant Lord St restaurant animated by people talking, playing games, eating and smoking Middle Eastern water pipes for hours on end -- but he has not been able to allow a single customer in.
After submitting an application for footpath dining more than four weeks ago, Mr Hamawi says he has been tossed between the council and the health department.
Would you visit a Shisha bar in Gladstone?
This poll ended on 30 November 2015.
Of course. It's a great new enterprise for Gladstone.
No, I don't think it's my thing.
I'd consider trying it.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
A council environmental health officer told Mr Hamawi via email on Tuesday that the application was waiting on written advice from Queensland Health on food and smoking legislation.
"If you wish to inquire on when the advice Queensland Health is to provide to us will be provided, it is best to contact Queensland Health directly," the email read.
Mr Hamawi did contact the Health Department. "The Health Department said 'yes, go ahead mate' and now I have to wait for the council to approve this still," he said.
He said the restaurant already had 15 reservations for its opening night but he did not know when that would be.
The council responded to our questions yesterday, but could not comment on the specific restaurant due to what it claimed was privacy.
"Generally, if all of the necessary information is provided and legal requirements met, council can process such applications quickly but if additional information is required or legal requirements have yet to be completed, the process can take longer," the statement said.
"The use of shishas (the water pipe) is regulated by Queensland Health in accordance with its tobacco policies."
But Queensland Health checks restaurants are compliant once they start operating.
After four weeks of playing ping pong with bureaucracy, Mr Hamawi has started playing ping pong with Mr Khitib to pass the time. "We have nothing to do," Mr Hamawi said. "I don't want to play table tennis all night. I want to be in my restaurant."
What is a shisha?
A shisha is a Middle Eastern water pipe that is used for smoking flavoured tobacco
Flavours of shisha tobacco include, grape, strawberry, kiwi, apple, bubblegum, raspberry and more
What you're saying on Facebook:
Sandra Howe: Why can they do it in West End (Brisbane) but not in Gladstone? Again, we have council limiting commercial endeavours. We need more businesses creating more jobs in Gladstone. Large corporations haven't helped maintain a lifestyle so let small business do it and allow Gladstone to expand instead of residents heading to Rockhampton or Bundaberg to shop.
Harry Harrison: Wake up to yourself council! Let these guys open! Health department said yes, why cant you?
Josh Harris: Council screwing someone over? Doesn't seem right!
Odi Riedel: This is normal nowadays.
Lea Lee: They allow them not far from the entertainment Centre in Boondal