April 1st 2009
"Crucify him" a misquote says Bee
Horseshoe Bay Beach Hire operator Mr Tim Bee, who recently learned that his company lost its tender to a NSW competitor "Beach Hire Australia", claims he was misquoted by the Townsville Bulletin when he was reported to have said (about Beach Hire Australia's Steve Hall), "If he comes up here we are going to crucify him."
"I was totally misquoted. I'm not a trouble maker and I haven't threatened anyone," said Tim Bee who believes he actually said, "I was being crucified."
But Townsville Bulletin reporter, Lendl Ryan, who originally reported the comment, (click here) which appears to have alienated Mr Bee's support, rejected Mr Bee's account and told Magnetic Times he stands by his reporting.
Shortly after the news of Mr Bee's loss to Beach Hire Australia was announced, an Island group called, "Save our Bees" (SOB) was formed.
Spokesperson, David "Crusty" Herron, was reported in the Townsville Bulletin to have said, "Tim is not moving. Nor are we. With the thousands of phone calls, emails, text messages and personal contacts we have collectively received, we are assured that it is not only the residents and businesses on Maggie behind the Bees but the people of Townsville are with us as well,"
But Mr Bee has called on Islanders planning a rally in support of his business to call it off. "Crusty wants a rally in the park. I don't want that," he said.
It has now been divulged that Mr Bee had offered $600 for the two year tender while Beach Hire Australia had put up $3500 and included beach chairs with umbrellas, lockers and other items on top of Mr Bee's range of equipment for hire.
Mr Bee, who has operated from the beach for 14 years, told Magnetic Times that his permits allowed hirers to visit Balding and Five Beach Bays and that he had just invested a large amount to upgrade his equipment. He claimed that if watersports operators did not feel secure from higher bidding they would not be prepared to invest for the longer term leading to poorer quality equipment and safety concerns.
More recently, Magnetic Times received the following letter (below) from Beach Hire Australia's Steve Hall who is keen to put his case to readers.
Hi, My name is Steve Hall and I am the owner operator of Beach Hire Australia the successful applicant of the Townsville City Councils recreational hire permit for beach hire equipment at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island.
I would just like to dispel some fears and misconceptions the public may have about us being awarded the tender.
Firstly, although we are registered in NSW we are an Australian business and I will be living and working full time on the Island. We will also be employing locals who live on the island and it is our intention to create local jobs and not take them away.
I first came to Maggie over 15 years ago and have visited regularly ever since. It has been a dream of mine to live on the Island and this is why I, along with my business partner Peter Taylor, decided to apply for the Tender when it came up.
We applied in November when it became available but was told there had not been enough applicants so we had to reapply in February and thankfully won.
We had no idea about how much Mr. Bee offered and it certainly was not about money. We simply offered amenities we feel will be of benefit to our patrons and to the Island community.
Although Council was not legally allowed to disclose tender details I am happy to fill in the gaps and provide details below. We are simply two mates who own a beach hire operation together.
The tender process was adhered to by all who entered and is a process used by councils all across Australia for thousands of businesses a year. It was voted for by a full council committee and was deemed best for the community and not for the individual.
The amenities offered in our application where as follows:
Free security beach lockers to the public.
Sit on top Kayaks
reef viewing body boards
stand up paddle boards
snorkel gear ( to be used well away from motorised vessels)
wetsuits and stinger suits
Banana Chairs and umbrellas offering comfort and protection from the sun
All our Umbrellas have bags attached which we encourage our patrons to fill with their rubbish.
We are an extremely environmentally sound operation and have absolutely no intention of "trampling all over the reef?" We both surf, dive and spend the best part of our life in the the ocean so looking after the environment is number one to us.
All equipment will be set up and removed daily with no impact on the environment.
We also offered free nipper boards to local surf clubs and will also hold a community day once a year where all the days takings and staff wages are given to local projects.
These are not sweeteners this is simply how we run our business.
In addition to this we also intend to have a dedicated website for our beach hIre on Magnetic Island and are also going to produce a DVD of the Island featuring local operators in the tourism, food and hospitality industry totally free of charge. This will be available for free in local shops and visitor centres.
We intend to be very pro active in promoting the Island and local community. We intend to join and work closely with the local tourism organisation Townsville Enterprise and other tourism services within the region. The DVD will be available within one month of us setting up.
Obviously we extend the offer of including Mr. Bee in the local business DVD so that he may continue his business at his new site. We do not intend to trade under his name or put him, out of a job.
We are offering new services to Horseshoe Bay and will be bringing new people to the island who may not have come in the past. We will encourage people who use our Sydney Beach Hire to visit Magnetic Island and will also ensure our DVD is available in tourism offices in Sydney.
We totally understand the locals concern but it is also the Australian way to give someone a fair go and that, as future locals, is all that we ask.
Steve Hall and Peter Taylor
for Beach hire Australia
Story: George Hirst
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