By Annette Shailer

Land and Environment Court Justice, Terry Sheahan, has ruled that the third floor of the Beach Palace Hotel in Coogee, known as the Aquarium, has been operating illegally as a hotel.

The judge’s verdict, which was delivered last week (Jul 1), drew on accounts by two private investigators that described in detail that the predominant use of the top floor was for the consumption of alcohol as opposed to the consumption of meals.

In his rulings Judge Sheahan said that, “I have concluded that the Aquarium is now more ‘hotel’ than ‘restaurant’. The primary service provided to patrons is the sale of drinks, including alcohol, supported by the provision of food services and entertainment.”

Judge Sheahan also noted that the service of meals concluded at approximately 9pm, yet the ‘restaurant’ continued to admit patrons and to trade until midnight usually.

“After a restaurant’s kitchen closes, no new customers are usually admitted, and the establishment stays open only to allow customers already inside to conclude dinner,” he said.

Judge Sheahan ordered that the Aquarium cease operating as a hotel by December 30 this year, “unless and until development consent is obtained for that use”.

To read the full judgment, click here.

The Shout Team

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