City of Cockburn and Rebels in talks over Bibra Lake unit use

President of the Bibra Lake chapter of the Rebels |Motorcycle Club Mark Rodgers.       www.communitypix.com.au   d421333
President of the Bibra Lake chapter of the Rebels |Motorcycle Club Mark Rodgers.       www.communitypix.com.au d421333

MEDIATION between Cockburn officials and the Rebels Motorcycle Club over use of a Bibra Lake unit will take place next month.

In August, the Rebels requested the City of Cockburn approve a “change of use” at a unit on Port Kembla Drive, which would have allowed it to continue operating a clubhouse there.

The request was denied by councillors because it would impact on amenity, despite the Rebels completing a two-year trial at the site and a city officer recommending the club be allowed to continue using the premises, with conditions.

MORE: City of Cockburn says no to Rebel Motorcycle Club request for Bibra Lake clubhouse

At the time, club representative Mark Rodgers told the Gazette the Rebels were likely to consider State Administrative Tribunal mediation, as they had done prior to the two year trial.

That process began with a directions hearing earlier this month, when it was agreed mediation would take place at the site in question on November 10.

Despite the SAT recently overturning a decision by the Town of Victoria Park to shut down a Rebels clubhouse in East Victoria Park, and the difficulties around proving impact to amenity, Cockburn’s planning and development services director Daniel Arndt said the city would stick by its previous decision.

“The council’s resolution to refuse the change of use for club premises remains valid,” he said.

“The reasons for the refusal relate to impacts on amenity, safety and security of the area, all of which are a significant concern for the council.”

While mediation may not deliver a result, Mr Arndt said it would prepare them should the issue go before a full hearing.

“While mediation can ultimately deliver a negotiated outcome, it can also narrow down the relevant issues to be considered during a full hearing if mediation is unsuccessful,” he said.

“In this instance, the council considers that participating in mediation is a better option than having the matter progressing straight to a full hearing of the State Administrative Tribunal.”

Rebels member Mark Rodgers was confident the club would get a positive outcome.