A sign of rising cost

Under the policy, planning approval is required for all business signage exceeding 0.2sq m and the City levies the maximum fee of $147 prescribed under application fees set by the State Government.

In July, business owners were offered a three-month signage amnesty period under the City’s revised policy but Flairform owner Bob Taylor believed inadequate community consultation meant he was unaware of the amnesty.

‘The first I was told was from another business owner and we did not receive any information in our rates,’ he said.

Mr Taylor said the application fee was a ‘rort’.

‘It is excessive and it appears a way to make more money for the City,’ he said. ‘It is another burden for business owners to deal with.’

City of Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox denied the application fee was a cash grab.

‘Application fees are set by the State Government, not by the City; however in the interests of maximum cost recovery, the City levies the maximum fee prescribed,’ he said.

Dr Silcox backed the City’s community consultation.

‘The signage amnesty was offered to all commercial and business owners by way of a flyer enclosed with their rates notice,’ he said.

‘No representations or comments were received from business owners or the general public as a result of this consultation.’