Freo’s double rate debate

The City of Fremantle announced the rate increase in 2011, which was applicable to nightclubs trading after 2am.

Mr Heaton and other nightclub operators were invited to a working group that was created to brainstorm uses for the money collected off them and he said he hoped some of their ideas would be incorporated when the rate is imposed again this year.

‘Since the working group committee’s first meeting in April 2012, we have worked to identify key initiatives that could be implemented to improve the city including a caravan-style police station, pop-up toilets, a secure taxi rank and other alternatives to address the lack of transport services in the area,’ he said.

‘While I am extremely pleased that the city has embraced the secure taxi rank initiative and I believe it is a significant step forward for visitors and the community, I am quite disappointed at the way that the funds have been allocated.

‘I would like to see a number of initiatives implemented to benefit the community, rather than just one.’

City of Fremantle corporate services director Glen Dougall said the higher rate was used to support community safety initiatives for the night time economy and to help pay for the clean up, with the funds already collected under the rate being used to build the Henderson Mall taxi rank.

‘The nightclubs pay just under double rates of other commercial properties and each year the City receives a total of approximately $90,000 in extra revenue from three nightclubs,’ he said.

‘Establishing a safer taxi rank for patrons and drivers was identified by the working group as the priority.

‘The new taxi rank will have improved security paid for by these funds, identification machines so that we can record patrons and taxi numbers to improve security for the patron and the driver, and improvements to lighting and shelter in the area for patrons.’