Is it fair to close off public areas for a private wedding? That’s the situation facing Rockhampton’s local businesses, as news hits that the Regional Council has approved a private wedding to be held in a popular public area. Many members of the community in the Queensland city are outraged by the closure of the Riverbank, with many local businesses claiming they will be negatively impacted.
The wedding is scheduled for September 30th – the same weekend as the NRL grand final – and will require the closure of part of the Riverbank on Quay Street for 38 hours. After Rockhampton Regional Council approved the couple’s request for the closure, locals took to social media to complain, with many wondering why one couple deserves the special treatment.
The same area was also recently closed off for the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival, which the Rockhampton Mayor, Margaret Strelow, says was also a private event. However, the festival was open to the public to attend, with the website stating, “The Capricorn Food and Wine Festival has something for everyone. The weekend offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere for foodies, wine connoisseurs and everything in between.” Though the festival was ticketed, the difference between a food and wine festival and a private wedding is obvious.
The concern for locals is that making an exception for this wedding could open the door to private weddings being held on the Riverbank all year round, regularly closing Quay Street and severely affecting local businesses in that area. Already a local hotel is concerned that by closing off the street for the entire NRL grand final weekend, they will lose a significant amount of business. As pubs and hotels all over the country find themselves packed on grand final weekend, this is of course a valid concern.
As wedding lovers, we’re conflicted. Should couples be allowed to hold their weddings in public spaces if it impacts the public? What do you think?
Author: Sian Campbell
Photography courtesy of Inlighten Photography, White Ash Photography, and Queensland for Everyone
Article written by Alison Donnellan