Booze ban has locals seeing red

Locals Alli Mathieson, Ann Bunting, Samantha Duhamel and Nikki Prout are not happy with Council's decision to refuse the sale of alcohol at this year's StreEATS Festival.
Locals Alli Mathieson, Ann Bunting, Samantha Duhamel and Nikki Prout are not happy with Council's decision to refuse the sale of alcohol at this year's StreEATS Festival.

A HASTY decision by the City of South Perth to prohibit the sale of alcohol at this year’s StrEATS festival has locals seeing red.

The summer event, which kicked off this month, draws food trucks to South Perth and provides a relaxed atmosphere where families can enjoy a meal and drink.

Last week, City of South Perth chief executive Geoff Glass decided to ban any further trading permits for alcohol following a single complaint, but would not reveal who.

“The occasional liquor licence previously granted to the bar operating at StrEATS was granted for a maximum period of three weeks, which has now lapsed,’’ he said.

“The City does not consider ongoing approval of this licence to be consistent with the spirit and intent of the Director of Liquor Licensing’s Temporary Bars Policy.”

However, a vendor due to start operating this weekend – Crafted Events WA has a special facility liquor licence, meaning it can operate for as long as needed.

“We had intended to operate at StrEATS until the end of the season next April,’’ Crafted Events WA owner Daniel Sterpini said.

“I provided the pop up bar services last year without incident and already have obtained approval from the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor to run the bar again, all we need is the City of South Perth to issue us a trading permit,’’ he said.

“Why would someone want to remove such a feature? Especially given there was only one objection.”

A petition started by Kensington resident Samantha Duhamel has attracted over 1000 signatures, calling for the City to revoke its decision.

“It’s totally unfair and quite ridiculous to be honest,’’ she said.

“StrEATS is a family friendly event, we are all responsible adults and would like the option of having a glass of wine with our food whilst the kids run around and have fun.

“We pay high rates to enjoy this beautiful foreshore and would much prefer to sit outside and watch the sunset over the City than sit in a stuffy beer garden.”

StrEATS coordinator Graeme Windle said he was shocked with the City’s decision and hoped they would have a change of heart, considering the huge public outcry.

“We are grateful for the support from locals, I was just going to accept it and move on, but they have taken a stance and run with it,’’ he said.

“We have been operating for six seasons and for the past four we’ve been providing alcohol.”

Mr Windle said The Little Wheel Bar O have been operating a pop up bar at StrEATS under a temporary licence for the past three weeks, until its regular vendor Crafted Events WA was able to take over this weekend.

“Crafted Events WA definitely adds to the atmosphere down on the foreshore as they bring their own festoon lights and furniture,’’ he said.

Mr Windle said the well-organised event had never attracted antisocial behaviour and they have never had to call the ranger or police out on any occasion.

“It would be a real shame if they weren’t allowed to trade at this year’s event,’’ Mr Windle said.

South Perth mayor Greg Milner took to social media to throw his support behind StrEATS.

“City officers took the decision not to grant a further trade permit for the sale of alcohol at the StrEATS festival, and that decision was made without reference to myself or any elected councillor,’’ he said.

“Like many of you, I and my family have enjoyed the atmosphere at the StrEATS festival and like many of you I’ve enjoyed a glass of wine along with the great food,’’ he said.

“I would like this to continue.”

Mr Miner said he would be speaking with council over the next few days to find an appropriate solution to the problem.

The City is aware of the ongoing community discussion via social media and will discuss the matter at its council meeting next Tuesday.