Business put on hold
THE future of business incubation services in the City of Canning remains in limbo following a third request to defer discussion at council, this time from chief executive Arthur Kyron through Mayor Paul Ng.
But three of the 11 councillors were not happy with the development.
On June 19, councillors voted 8-3 to defer the business incubation services item for a third time until the July meeting, when Mr Kyron said all relevant information should be available after a series of meetings between Business Station in Welshpool and the City of Canning.
Before the vote, Mr Kyron said meetings with incubation service Business Station had been positive, adding “we’re still waiting on some matters to be communicated back that are separate to the Business Station discussions”.
Councillors Tim Porter, Graham Barry and Deputy Mayor Christine Cunningham voted against the motion to defer discussion.
Business Station chief executive Kim Charles told the Canning Times that “positive” was a strong word given there had been no consensus to date and as a not-for-profit organisation there was a difference between what the City was asking in rent and what it could afford.
Business Station secured a $5.6 million Federal grant in May to deliver digital solutions programs to businesses across WA, the NT and Queensland.
Ms Charles said Business Station, which has run the business incubation centre for the past year, was under the impression last year that it would have the option to continue leasing for three years at a time but that seemed to have changed.
She said the programs offered by Business Station would not be suitable to a library setting.
The City hopes to move free business incubation services into its local libraries and encourage tenants wanting to stay at the Welshpool site to pay rent directly to the City.
This would enable the City to explore alternative options for the site at 33 to 37 Murray Street South, Welshpool, to optimise the rate of return, given a recent land valuation showed Lot 800 to be worth $13.2 million.
Bentley and Riverton libraries have been earmarked as locations for business incubation services, with a revamp of Bentley complete and extensive refurbishment of Riverton library planned for 2018. But the City of Canning is yet to release details on how and when the Riverton refurbishment will affect library users.
The lease by Business Station in Welshpool expires in September. It has offices in Joondalup, Subiaco and Fremantle.
The Business Station in Welshpool.