Singleton Council has had a change of heart and reversed an order to the owners of the popular Putty Road eatery, the Grey Gum Café 75 minutes outside Singleton, to shut up shop.
The original dispute between the Council and the cafe’s owners, Kim and John Grace, arose mainly out of the nature of the road access to and from the Café which lead to the Council issuing of a notice to cease trading by 7 December 2011.
The RMS and Council wanted the Graces to install an additional road shoulder to allow vehicles to turn right into the Café but traffic studies indicated that this was not necessary.
David Aitken, Practice Group Leader of the Rural and Regional Team at Slater & Gordon said the decision by the Council to allow the Grey Gum Café to continue trading was a win for common sense.
“Kim and John fought the closure order on the basis they had taken all reasonable steps to comply with Council and RMS standards regarding signage and driveway access to the Café, and were making sound contributions to road safety along the Putty Road,” he said.
“Along with traffic studies which indicated the changes were not necessary, major community support and strong representation from both the Local Member, George Souris and Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, this convinced the Council to withdraw the closure notice.
“The reversal of the Council’s position now means the thousands of travellers and tourists that use the Putty Road will be able to continue to take a break at the cafe and then continue safely on their journey,” Mr Aitken said.
Kim Grace said the Council’s change of heart means they will be able to keep trading and offer a place for people to take some time out in stunning Upper Hunter surroundings during their travels,” she said.
"We are so appreciative of the support we have received from the Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay; our local member the Hon George Souris, Mr Alan Jones AO and the RMS.
“Special thanks goes to the entire motorcycle community of NSW, particularly the Motorcycle Council of NSW, whose support has been quite simply overwhelming,” Ms Grace said.
The Gray Gum Café is the only facility of its kind for 180km on the Putty Road between Singleton and Windsor, providing a much needed Driver Reviver rest point and a welcome stop for tourists, in particular bike riders.
Local State member and Minister for Upper Hunter, George Souris, worked with the Council and the Graces to keep the Cafe open.
“Working together we were able to come up with a solution that suits everyone,” Mr Souris said.
“It is always my objective as Minister for the Upper Hunter to facilitate and encourage appropriate development and support people like Kim and John.
“I was delighted to be able to help and naturally I’m thrilled with the outcome. Small businesses such as the Grey Gum Café are vital to the stability of the State as a whole.”