Town to close HQ of Rebels bikies

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

OF­FI­CERS from the Gang Crime Squad ar­rested and charged the Bent­ley chap­ter pres­i­dent of the Rebels Mo­tor­cy­cle Club last week.

Sev­eral premises linked to the 49-year- old were searched af­ter a long-run­ning drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He faced sev­eral charges of sup­ply­ing traf­fi­ca­ble quan­ti­ties of metham­phetamine as well as one charge of con­spir­ing to un­law­fully pos­sess 10 firearms. He ap­peared in the Perth Mag­is­trates Court on June 9 and will reap­pear on Septem­ber 3. THE Town of Vic­to­ria Park has voted to shut down an East Vic­to­ria Park Rebels Mo­tor­cy­cle Club (RMC) club­house.

The town was made aware the Bent­ley chap­ter of the RMC had con­verted the Mil­ford Street ware­house last July.

In Oc­to­ber 2014, a town in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­firmed the prop­erty was be­ing used as club premises with­out plan­ning ap­proval.

In De­cem­ber, the club ap­plied for ret­ro­spec­tive plan­ning ap­proval for change of use from fac­tory units/ware­house to un­listed use-club premises.

The town re­ceived 20 sub­mis­sions ob­ject­ing to the club but a num­ber of con­cerns raised by the com­mu­nity were not rel­e­vant plan­ning considerations.

Vic­to­ria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the town had been in­volved only with plan­ning is­sues.

“Any mat­ters re­lat­ing to the ten­ants or any anti-so­cial be­hav­iour are be­ing han­dled by the po­lice,” he said. “The WA Po­lice made a sub­mis­sion as part of the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion process, which was un­der­taken by the town.”

The club can now go to the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion Tri­bunal to ap­ply for re­view of the de­ci­sion.

This is not a new is­sue for a lo­cal gov­ern­ment. In July 2013, the City of Cock­burn re­jected an ap­pli­ca­tion from the RMC, which sought ret­ro­spec­tive plan­ning ap­proval for a change of use of a fac­tory to a club premises.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected be­cause it was thought the pres­ence of the club would be a “risk to the amenity of the sur­round­ing area” and “would send a mes­sage of ac­cep­tance”.

Af­ter more than a year-and-a-half of talks be­tween the city and the club, the coun­cil granted ret­ro­spec­tive plan­ning ap­proval.

It ac­cepted the ap­pli­ca­tion af­ter SAT me­di­a­tion and the fact the de­ci­sion had to be made based on fac­tors re­lat­ing to land use and not who would use the premises.

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