CEO response to community questions regarding StrEATS
Given the level of interest and to further clarify some of the complexities around the StrEATS event issue, the City has published (below) an excerpt from Tuesday's November 2019 Council Meeting from the City’s CEO Geoff Glass.
Full minutes from Tuesday’s 26 November 2019 Council Meeting will be published on the City’s website today, Friday 29 November before 5pm.
Pop up bars on the South Perth foreshore at Sir James Mitchell Park is not a new issue for the City.
I first became aware of the StrEATS pop up bar operating on the foreshore during the tour we conducted for new Councillors on Saturday 26 October – in passing Sir James Mitchell Park near the corner of Coode Street and Mill Point Road there was a large electronic message board advertising a ‘Bar, with Food Trucks and Live Music’.
At the time I queried the City’s Manager of Community, Culture and Recreation as to what ‘bar’ was that referring to, as I was not aware of any pop up bar that had been approved.
I am particularly conscious of pop up bars in this same part of the foreshore given that since early 2017 the City’s involvement in this issue has included:
- Firstly it had been active and at considerable expense defending itself in the Supreme Court from action taken by G C Ogden, Gaintime Investments Pty Ltd and the Windsor Hotel South Perth Pty Ltd regarding the operations of the Embargo pop up bar
That the issue of pop ups on the foreshore was the subject of a petition and raised in the WA State Parliament in late 2017.
- That in early 2018 the City incurred further time and cost in response to the Windsor Hotel parties demanding that the City cease and desist pursuing a Council resolved change to the Management Order of the Sir James Mitchell Park Reserve to facilitate temporary food and beverage entertainment.
- That shortly before the full hearing in the Supreme Court of the Embargo pop up matter in August 2018 Windsor Hotel solicitors submitted to the Supreme Court that their legal action against the City would be discontinued. The reason given for not proceeding was that the State Government had introduced a new Temporary Bars Policy which limited the time a pop up bar could operate in a particular location to a maximum of three weeks and that this satisfied the Windsor Hotel parties purposes in taking the Supreme Court action against the City.
- That for the next 10 months either directly by the Windsor Hotel parties or through elected members that information on legal expenses on the City defending itself against those parties was sought by, amongst other means, notices of motion submitted to Council meetings.
- It was also during this time in my view that this issue was the subject of media coverage, direct contact by the Windsor Hotel parties to the City’s own solicitors and direct communication to elected members of the City.
- The most recent consideration relating to this ongoing issue was via a notice of motion considered at the August 2019 Council meeting.
- And since then of course we have had the Council election, and this is now the first meeting of the new Council.
So, pop up bars on the foreshore has remained consistently topical. What I have tried to briefly describe is that the issue of pop up bars and events selling liquor on Sir James Mitchell Park has consumed considerable time and cost for the organisation and myself for now over two and a half years.
Accordingly, when I saw the electronic advertisement for a pop up bar I began to make my own enquiries about its approval and any conditions or arrangements that might apply.
To that end I sought information, on amongst other things, the application for the hire of the reserve, the Licence and Trading Permits that we issued, the Occasional Liquor Licence that was issued by the Liquor Licencing Authority and what revenue we derived from those Licences and Permits.
Based upon the understanding that I reached of the required approvals and relevant policies that guide us in our oversight of the StrEATS operations I gave instruction that we should advise the Coordinator of South Perth StrEATs that we could not support further extensions of the Liquor Licence, and that was done on Tuesday 12 November.
This was, as in the report to Council attached to the Notice of Motion, on the basis that:
- Firstly there had been no application to sell alcohol.
- That the City had not received written consent for StrEATS to apply for a Liquor Licence as required by the City’s Mobile Food and Beverage Vehicles Licence.
- That in any event and despite that requirement, and without seeking a view from the City that the Liquor Licensing Authority issued an Occasional Liquor Licence and that that Licence could only be in place for three weeks and would then expire and was not able to be extended.
- That the Licence issued by the City required the Coordinator of StrEATS to comply with the State Government’s Temporary Bar Policy which limits any liquor licence issued to a maximum of three weeks.
Given the public interest I then, last Monday (18 November), issued a statement stating that the Occasional Liquor Licence that had been granted by the Liquor Licensing Authority had now lapsed, that the granting of further such licences was inconsistent with the spirit and intent of the State Government’s Temporary Bar Policy and that given the public interest it would be discussed further at this meeting tonight.
Apologies for the long answer, however, they are the considerations that were in my mind and why I gave the instruction that I did.
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City to work with StrEATS on correct approvals for pop up bar
Council last night resolved for the City to work in cooperation with South Perth StrEATS to assist them in achieving the correct approvals required for a pop up bar to operate as part of their event.