A Sydney council is standing firm over its decision to ban a young entrepreneur from setting up shop on one of Australia's most popular walking tracks.
Jesse Lane, 12, made national headlines last year when Randwick Council ordered him to shut up shop after he started selling drinks and other items out of a small tent along the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.
Council said using public parks and reserves for commercial use was prohibited without approval, forcing the closure of his stall and angering locals and his loyal customers.
But after a brief break, Jesse was spotted selling items once again earlier this year and business was booming, with Australia Day proving to be one of Jesse's most lucrative with the addition of card payments.
Jesse's mum Catherine spoke to Yahoo News Australia earlier this month saying despite the council's rejection, Jesse had developed a new tactic in an attempt to circumnavigate the council's ruling. Instead of operating from a fixed location, Jesse has used a pram to move his goods between sites, adopting a "mobile" approach.
"It's been a mixed response... some rangers are OK with it, but some have asked him to move on," Catherine revealed.
Randwick Council won't back down
But after learning of Jesse's return, Randwick council reiterated to Yahoo that the ban on Jesse's operations remains in place.
"While we admire the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the young man, Council does not permit commercial operations in public parks," a council spokesperson said.
"Our parks and reserves are places for the whole community to enjoy, exercise and share. Requests from businesses and commercial retailers to sell goods in public parks are routinely declined as they are not consistent with the purpose of the public space."
The spokesperson said Jesse had appealed the decision on several occasions, with his latest application being rejected in November.
"We’ve taken a sensitive and sympathetic approach to this issue noting the boy’s age and have been in regular contact with Jesse and his family about the restrictions. Despite this, however, the practice has continued," the spokesperson said.
Council say there has been no change in their position since November's decision.
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