Subi pop-up ‘fury’, bar none

The Rooftop Oasis bar, small eats and live music event was held at the old Subiaco Pavilion Market carpark on March 14, 21 and 28.

Beyond the Trapdoor boutique owner Violetta Kotnowska said she asked 48 business owners, including 24 hospitality operators along Rokeby Road and Hay Street, if they were approached to participate.

‘Not only were they (hospitality business owners) not approached, they were not even aware of the event and furious that their money was used to promote an individual’s business that profited from all of the takings,’ Ms Kotnowska told Subiaco councillors at a committee meeting last week.

Visit Subiaco chief executive Annaliese Battista said 1000 A5 flyers and 300 A5 posters were displayed and distributed in Subiaco for the pop-up bar.

‘Visit Subiaco offers an unreserved and sincere apology to any business or individual that we missed in distributing the material,’ Mrs Battista said. ‘We take full responsibility for this and aim to correct this in future.’

Mrs Battista said Visit Subiaco’s role was not to promote individual businesses or groups but instead use destination marketing to promote the geographical area of Subiaco as a whole.

Ms Kotnowska presented a 120-signature petition to the council on February 25 to end the Specified Area Rate levy.

‘Subiaco has become a sleepy hollow, so when businesses pay a levy we expect something for our money,’ she said.

‘We are being forced to pay for a levy that has no benefit and we can’t afford it anymore.

‘It is unfair and uneconomical.’

City of Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said Visit Subiaco had a fixed tenure until June 30 and would continue its marketing program ‘business as usual’ until then.

Mr Tindale said the levy had been a source of contention since its inception in 1998.

‘Council has requested further investigation of alternative marketing and funding models for Subiaco,’ he said.

Subiaco councillors attended a concept forum to discuss the future of Visit Subiaco and levy on March 26. A second forum is planned for early May.