Petrol ban boosts Dunsborough campaign to boot Puma station

Dunsborough residents have strongly opposed the development of a petrol station from being built in the town centre under the guise of a convenience store.
Dunsborough residents have strongly opposed the development of a petrol station from being built in the town centre under the guise of a convenience store.

A new regulation banning convenience stores from selling fuel has boosted a local campaign to stop a 24-hour Puma Energy petrol station in the centre of Dunsborough's main tourist street.

The City of Busselton's new definition of a convenience store is the same as the state's, in that they are "premises used for the retail sale of convenience goods commonly sold in supermarkets, delicatessens or newsagents".

The city's old 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 due to the old definition in force at the time.

The definition change is crucial as it means the Puma proposal for central Dunsborough would be classed as a service station, making it much easier for the council to refuse it.

Community group Puma2Go wants Puma to drop its convenience store charade and move the development to the tourist town's light industrial area.

It says the term "convenience store" does not appear anywhere on Puma Energy's website.

"It would appear Puma's operation in Dunsborough would be its only convenience store in Australia," group spokesperson Tony Sharp said.

Puma2Go also called on developers DCSC to shelve the proposal, claiming it was against the wishes of the community and now runs counter to town zoning law.

The WA Supreme Court last week heard an appeal against the earlier SAT decision.

"If the appeal is upheld and the decision goes back to the SAT for review, the new definition could have a significant impact on the final decision," Mr Sharp said.

Dunsborough already has two existing petrol stations at either end of the town's main street and locals have long argued against the need for a third.

Coles Express recently overtook ownership of the Shell Dunsborough at one end of the strip and locals have told Fairfax Media the petrol station now regularly runs dry of fuel and top-ups can take up to 24 hours.

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