Mayor Barry Sammels said the City had always maintained there was proper cause for disciplinary action against the club’s owners Tocoan Pty Ltd, under Section 95 of the Liquor Control Act, based on ‘sustained and vehement concerns’ raised by residents and other business operators in the vicinity of Zelda’s.
‘Every matter raised by the Commission in the finding supports the City’s view that the establishment was the primary cause of the anti-social behaviour and activity in that area,’ he said.
‘Previous suggestions that the City’s complaints were ‘vexatious’ have now been fully put to rest in light of this finding.’
The City confirmed previously it spent more than $250,000 in legal costs over three years.
The Courier asked a number of business owners surrounding the prominently-placed club how they felt about the closure of the troublesome nightspot and how it would affect their business, with responses mixed.
Requesting anonymity, one shop owner replied he was pleased he would no longer have to clear broken bottles and empty cans away on a Monday morning, while another, also speaking anonymously, said they could also stop worrying about damage being done around their business and hoped to see the nightclub replaced by ‘something with a bit more quality’.
However, another doubted all the problems in the area stemmed from one nightclub and suggested alcohol was not the only cause of unsociable behaviour and violence in the area.
‘One nightclub in Rockingham isn’t good, there should be a second nightclub in town,’ they said.
‘I doubt all the issues and problems around here stemmed from that one spot and the problems went much deeper than irresponsibility with alcohol; there were hard drugs too.’ Mr Sammels said the Waterfront Village could look forward to a bright future as a dining and entertainment precinct following the closure, and that the City would continue to support responsibly managed bars, restaurants and cafes.
Nightclub owner Kevin Mann was contacted for comment but did not respond before deadline.