Cockburn City Council rejected the motorcycle club’s application to operate a clubhouse in Bibra Lake, a month after deferring on making a decision so it could seek further legal advice and briefings from the club and police.
A City officer had earlier supported the club’s presence in Bibra Lake, albeit with a number of restrictions and tight windows for when members could actually use the facility.
But Deputy Mayor Kevin Allen was having none of it and offered an alternative to refuse the proposal.
Mr Allen said the club’s presence would impact on the amenity of the area and likely lead to social issues.
‘Their presence in Cockburn will pose an unacceptable risk to local businesses,’ he said. ‘The club is a risk to the amenity of the surrounding area so if we do accept their application I think it would send a message of acceptance.
‘Once they’re here I believe they will be hard to shift. Their numbers will increase. By approving the proposed application, we would be legitimising their position in Cockburn.’
East ward councillor Lee-Anne Smith was also against the Rebels in Cockburn, citing a raid on the property last year when police seized one sawn-off shotgun, ammunition and two cars. No charges were laid as police were unable to link Rebels members to the property.
‘The concerns from the community are not alleged or perceived,’ she said.
‘Other councils have been placed in similar predicaments and have not gone ahead with having a clubhouse in their City.’
But Central ward councillor Val Oliver was all for letting the club stay, saying neighbouring businesses had not experienced any trouble from having them there.
The Rebels are yet to return the Gazette’s requests for a comment.