THE Town of Victoria Park’s approval of a new nightspot that is the first of its kind in the area has come with a reassurance from the council that the decision is not the start of Victoria Park becoming “the new Northbridge”.
Councillors said they believed the new business, which will be a small bar on Albany Highway in East Victoria Park, would have a positive impact on the local entertainment precinct but also warned of the need to stand firm on the decision to allow trading to midnight only for such applications.
Mayor Trevor Vaughan said approval of anything later than midnight trading for such licensed venues could set a dangerous precedent.
He said the council needed to exercise caution when making such decisions to avoid a proliferation of nightclubs in the area, which could lead to an increase in alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour and other problems.
“I’ve got some real concerns about applications for 1am licences,” he said.
“Will this decision encourage nightclubs? Because we don’t want Victoria Park becoming the new Northbridge.”
Cr John Bissett echoed the mayor’s sentiments, saying the last thing anyone wanted was a recurrence of the problems several years ago that resulted in about 300 unhappy local residents attending a meeting to air their concerns about issues stemming from local late night venues.
Cr Julie Armstrong said the approval of the small bar, which will hold up to about 100 patrons, represented the rejuvenation of the area and would offer residents something more sophisticated and cultured than the average pub experience.
“I look forward to more small bars being encouraged by this successful application,” she said.
Cr Armstrong also suggested to council that it keep an open mind to businesses wanting to trade later than midnight.
“A 1am close means people don’t have to go straight home at midnight after leaving one of the local hotels – it gives people something worth staying out a bit later for.”