Petrol-sales ban boosts Dunsborough campaign against Puma

The campaign to prevent a 24-hour Puma petrol station from opening in the centre of the West Australian town of Dunsborough has received a boost with a new regulation banning convenience stores from selling fuel.

The City of Busselton’s new definition of a convenience store came into effect in February with its publication in the Government Gazette. Under the new definition, which is the same as the state’s definition, convenience stores are defined as premises “used for the retail sale of convenience goods commonly sold in supermarkets, delicatessens or newsagents”.

The city’s previous definition included the phrase “but including the sale of petrol”.

In August 2016, the State Administrative Tribunal ruled Puma’s proposed six-bowser petrol-retail operation was a convenience store, according to the definition in force at the time.

Last year, City of Busselton changed its definition of a service station to match the state government’s definition. This allows for the selling of “goods of a convenience nature”. These two definition changes mean an operation like that proposed by Puma would be classed as a service station. In central Dunsborough, this would be a discretionary use, making it much easier for the City to refuse it.

Given the change in law, the community group Puma2Go is calling on Puma to move the development from the town centre to Dunsborough’s light-industrial area. The group points out that the term “convenience store” does not appear anywhere in the Puma Energy website.

“It would appear Puma’s operation in Dunsborough would be its only convenience store in Australia,” Puma2Go spokesman Tony Sharp said.

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