Liquor store ap­proval sparks fears

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page - Ben Smith

HUNTINGDALE res­i­dents have slammed a coun­cil de­ci­sion to ap­prove a liquor store that they be­lieve will in­crease anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

Pipit Close res­i­dents were out­raged af­ter the City of Gos­nells coun­cil voted to ap­prove the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for a liquor store at the shop­ping cen­tre across the road.

The shops back on to a park and res­i­dents are wor­ried in­tox­i­cated peo­ple will loi­ter in the area af­ter vis­it­ing the bot­tle shop.

Lo­cal res­i­dent Mur­ray Sharpe said he was “pretty dis­gusted” by the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to ap­prove the bot­tle shop.

“I can’t be­lieve the City of Gos­nells would ap­prove it be­cause it’s not sit­ting iso­lated, the area’s sur­rounded by young peo­ple,” he said.

“We’ve seen it over at Lak­ers Tav­ern, where the liquor stores are, there’s an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of peo­ple loi­ter­ing.

“The coun­cil let them­selves off the hook by say­ing if the plan­ning is OK, let it go ahead. What they’re say­ing is that’s not our prob­lem, it's a po­lice prob­lem.”

Mr Sharpe’s neigh­bour, Lee Clowt­ing, echoed his sen­ti­ments.

“We’ve wit­nessed vi­o­lent at­tacks in the park re­cently, young drunks caus­ing trou­ble in the park and that’s with­out the bot­tle shop be­ing there,” he said.

“It would have been nice if the coun­cil had been on the com­mu­nity’s side.”

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously fought off two pre­vi­ous liquor store ap­pli­ca­tions in 1996 and 2011, fel­low res­i­dent Gail Gar­rity said she was dis­ap­pointed in the de­ci­sion.

“(A while ago) the man­ager of IGA asked me what I thought if he put al­co­hol in his shop and I said ‘if you do that, there’ll be one big kickup’,” she said.

“All we can do is put our let­ters in and do an ap­pli­ca­tion for an ob­jec­tion.”

Last month, coun­cil­lors Ron Mitchell and David Goode spoke in sup­port of the liquor store as the shop­ping cen­tre needed more ac­tiv­ity and could pro­vide ad­di­tional job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Cr Peter Abetz also sup­ported the ap­pli­ca­tion and said while he sym­pa­thised with the res­i­dents’ con­cerns, coun­cil could only vote on the plan­ning side of the is­sue.

The store must pass a pub­lic in­ter­est test, which may take into ac­count whether an­noy­ance or in­con­ve­nience could be caused to peo­ple who re­side or work near the pro­posed li­censed premises, be­fore the De­part­ment of Rac­ing, Gam­ing and Liquor ap­proves it.

Picture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d475800

Res­i­dent Mur­ray Sharpe is un­happy as lo­cals be­lieve a new liquor store will cause dis­trup­tion in the neigh­bour­hood.

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