Red tape ties up gym

Red tape ties up gym

Local gym instructor, Jack Graham, has run into red tape after deciding to relocate the Primal gym from Macleod Street Bairnsdale to Dalmahoy Street.

For two years, Mr Graham operated his gym from 92 Macleod Street, building up a loyal clientele of about 50 regular customers.

They would attend early morning, mid-morning, afternoon and some night sessions to keep fit.

However, Mr Graham recognised it wasn’t financially feasible to remain renting in Macleod Street long term and so set about searching for alternative accommodation.

He was thrilled to find vacant premises at 70 Dalmahoy Street, situated in an industrial area behind the train line and overlooking the football ground, and looked forward to opening his doors there.

Mr Graham moved out of Macleod Street in early May and is still to open his gym in Dalmahoy Street because council have imposed new restrictions on operating the gym.

Council received 11 objections to the planning permit even though the new gym has only one house beside it.

The objections reportedly cited issues related to noise, dust and parking.

“Some of the objections cited ludicrous reasons,” Mr Graham said.

“Others were the same objections but with different names.”

Mr Graham said at the June 4 council meeting he discovered the planning department had placed restrictions on his operating times and the number of people he could have per gym session.

However, council planning and development coordinator, Nicole Reynolds, said council officers discussed and agreed on the hours of operation with the applicant at a meeting the day following a planning consultation meeting.

Council did receive further submissions in regards to hours of operation following the agreement, however, considered the 6.30am opening is “reasonable”.

While Mr Graham was allowed to operate his gym from 6am in Macleod Street, the new restrictions mean the first session can’t start until 6.30am, despite the fact a train leaves Bairnsdale at 6.08am.

Mr Graham says his gym sessions aren’t loud.

“We’re not pumping loud music or anything like that, our classes are more about strength and conditioning which don’t require loud music,” he said.

Mr Graham said his classes certainly aren’t as loud as the early morning trains or the arrival of B-double trucks bringing livestock to the nearby saleyards.

He says starting at 6.30am will see him lose quite a few customers because it doesn’t allow them enough time to get organised before work. Of an evening his classes must finish by 7.30pm and on weekends Mr Graham will be required to close his gym by midday. Mr Graham said he had also forked out $4500 just to keep his business running by adhering to the requirements of the East Gippsland Shire, despite having no income at present.

I’ve had to move out of home because I couldn’t afford the rent and I’ve got bills and bills piling up,” he said.

Mr Graham is presently house sitting for a friend. He says he invited the council to a gym class to see how he operates and fully understand what’s involved in running a session.

Mr Graham, who’s originally from New South Wales, said he moved to East Gippsland five years ago because he loves being close to the beach and the snow. But he concedes that he may be forced to relocate his business further down the line in Gippsland if he loses customers because of the new restrictions imposed on his business.

“I’m the only gym in Bairnsdale restricted to an opening time of 6.30am,” Mr Graham said.

“Even the council operated BARC opens at 6.15am.”

Primal gym is scheduled to open in mid-July.

PICTURED: Local gym instructor, Jack Graham, has run into red tape after deciding to relocate the Primal gym from Macleod Street Bairnsdale to Dalmahoy Street.