Reaction ‘too little, too late’
SUBIACO Council rejected an elected member’s motion that would have addressed issues with high rents and vacant shops more than 14 months ago.
Councillor Paul Clements said the City reacted “too little, too late” when chief executive Stephen Tindale last week announced an audit of vacant shops and rental costs and a round table discussion with landlords and property managers.
Cr Clements’ motion that City staff collect data on the current market value of retail rentals on Hay Street and Rokeby Road lapsed at the December 17, 2013 council meeting and was later lost at an economic development and sustainability committee.
“It sticks in your throat that they have now come up with a version of my elected member’s motion that should do essentially the same thing,” the licensed property valuer and Property Institute of Australia member said.
“My motion certainly would have highlighted issues and saved some tenants a lot of grief. Having a public document would have given a measure of confidence that the City was concerned with and working on high rents in 2013 when the writing was very clearly on the wall for Subiaco.”
Mr Tindale said Cr Clements’ motion had called for valuation data “primarily for arbitration purposes”.
“Encouraging both new and existing locally- owned businesses to remain in the City and supporting the development of a diverse range of shopping options are specific strategies outlined in the council-endorsed Economic Development Strategy 2013-2017,” he said.
“With the introduction of a new place management approach and provision for economic development activities in the current budget, the City now has a dedicated inhouse resource committed to economic development.”
Bistro des Artistes owner Alain Fabregues said Mr Tindale’s announcement appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction to recent publicity surrounding his and other Subiaco business owners’ high rents.