LET the newspaper headline be ‘Subiaco ends alfresco dining fees’, Mark Burns appealed to his fellow Subiaco councillors at a meeting last month.
Cr Burns presented an alternative motion to the planning fees and charges council recommendation that outdoor dining permits in the Subiaco CBD be made free.
“I believe $45,000 is absolutely nothing to our budget,” he said.
“We all know the atmosphere at Juanita’s bar. Imagine if we could do that all along Rokeby Road? It is a fantastic thing.”
But chief executive Don Burnett said the fees for this year had already gone out.
“We would need to set a date for when this would be from, and then advertise it for 14 days,” he said.
Cr Stephanie Stroud said the council should not support Cr Burns’ motion as it “only opened up more issues”.
“I support the suggestion from our CEO to dig deeper into the detail and make sure we get it right,” she said.
When Cr Burns’ alternate was lost 6-5 – it needed an absolute majority – councillors then unanimously approved a motion that Mr Burnett present a report to the January 2016 council meeting on removing the outdoor dining permit fee.
Cr Murray Rowe said he had been pushing for alfresco dining since 2005.
“A lot of the hospitality venues would like to be out there, but when it comes to fees… we need to work out how we get on top of it,” he said.
“Even if staff says it will cost $45,000, well maybe we should look at why we spend $100,000 on Christmas lights?
“This has just as much visual impact, but it is perennial.”