A WODONGA man has failed in a battle to keep his fishing tackle and repairs business open.
Des Mullarvey found out this week he will have to shut the business, though it’s not known when.
“It’s devastating,” Mr Mullarvey said.
“I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of customers.
“They’re going to be very disappointed — the fact that they can’t get friendly service, a weekend service, that they’ve never had before.”
Wodonga Council served Mr Mullarvey with a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal order last September telling him to stop operating his fishing equipment business from his home.
It argued Mr Mullarvey’s retail business contravened the home occupation provisions of the Wodonga planning scheme..
VCAT handed down its ruling against Mr Mullarvey on Wednesday.
Chief executive Patience Harrington said the council had not received the official order from VCAT.
“However, it was determined at the hearing that an enforcement order was in the council’s favour and the conditions are that the business owner is to comply with clause 52.11 of the Wodonga planning scheme,” Ms Harrington said.
That means the vast bulk of Mr Mullarvey’s business is doomed, though he said he would continue to sell fishing bait.
He has already embarked on a four-week clearing sale of his rods and other fishing gear.
Mr Mullarvey has run Hook Driver from his Thomas Mitchell Drive home for about nine years.
Before then he ran a similar business at Wangaratta for 40 years.
Mr Mullarvey said he now felt it hard to take “anyone in power” at their word.
“They gave me the OK eight years ago to do what I’m doing, but now they have this planning scheme section that says I can’t continue.
“They say that I can’t service what I sell.”
The council’s concern is that Mr Mullarvey has expanded his business from just doing repairs to include a retail outlet selling rods, reels and tackle, with illegal signs outside his house.
Mr Mullarvey said he had received “endless” support since his case was first publicised last year.
“I’ve still got people coming in wanting to sign my petition,” he said.
“Even yesterday I had people in here talking about it.”