Applying for an extension until 1am Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2am Fridays and Saturdays and midnight on Sundays, Carnegie’s initial request was knocked back at the Liquor Commission of Western Australia in 2014.
The commissioners wrote they believed Fremantle had a high-than-average level of alcohol related violence and that it was in the public interest not to extend trading.
However Carnegie’s took their appeal to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the owners and gave them the chance to resubmit their application to the commission, which granted the extended trading permit last month.
Despite this, chief executive Karl Bullers said they were disappointed they were unable to get the 2am close on Fridays and Saturdays, instead being granted an extension until 1am those nights.
He said he didn’t understand why nightclubs catering to young people were able to stay open until 5am when venues like the National Hotel, which catered to an older demographic, found it hard to stay open after midnight.
“I am very pleased I can now compete on a level footing with the other bars in Fremantle that have 1am closing, but I’m still angry 2am has not been approved when the evidence points to a great demand for it,” he said.
“Fremantle needs to compete on an international level and tourists/business visitors expect to be able to enjoy the same sort of entertainment and facilities they can in other countries.
“Why should bars in Northbridge and other suburbs be allowed to close at 2am but not in Fremantle? The first couple weeks have been very busy during the extra hour and this clearly demonstrates the demand.”
Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said it had been a long and drawn out process that should not have gone to the Supreme Court.
“There are a lot of unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on venues in the application process,” he said.
“While it’s important that recognised entities have input in liquor licensing matters, the AHA believes the majority of interventions are blanket objections to any diversification or change to operating hours for licensed venues.
“Allowing venues in Northbridge to trade until 2am but disallowing similar operators in Fremantle to do the same is inconsistent and out of touch.”