Artist says council can’t see big picture

Murray Gill had his application to expand his small bar Juanita's denied at a council meeting last week. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d422810
Murray Gill had his application to expand his small bar Juanita's denied at a council meeting last week. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d422810

At a committee meeting last week, Subiaco councillors rejected Mr Gill’s application to increase capacity from 45 to 69 and extend Monday opening hours to 9pm.

Mr Gill said the City of Subiaco had ‘shot itself in the foot’ for any person to conduct a successful business in Subiaco.

‘In the staff report they talk about the ‘the intensification of the venue’ as if it is a terrible thing,’ he said.

‘Just look down the road and you’ll find at least 11 empty shops; we are in a ghost town.

‘Subi is desperate to get some of this intensification. If this were a crap bar with no one coming to it, then the council would be happy.’

Mr Gill said residents who complained about patrons crashing bottles, laughing and shouting were exploiting residential-commercial zoning restrictions.

‘They’ve been against us from the start, they’ve tried to get as much out of it as they can to suit them,’ he said.

City of Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said the conflict was symptomatic of inherent flaws with residential-commercial zoning.

‘It is a balancing act that council needs to manage the expectations of businesses and the residents ” and sometimes there is no common ground,’ Mr Tindale said.

‘It is problematic because right now we are trying to encourage more residential population in our town centre.

‘Perhaps there is a maturation that needs to happen. People need to understand that if you are going to live in a busy, vibrant town centre with all of its attractions, you have to expect there will be downsides.’