In­spec­tion fee the un­kind­est cut

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick Find - By JON BAS­SETT

CLARE­MONT hair­dressers and bar­bers want their coun­cil to cut a new $50 fee for in­spec­tions of their shops, also be­ing charged to beauty sa­lons and tat­too par­lours.

“It’s to­tally gross and un­fair; what are our rates for?” Jaeger Hair De­sign op­er­a­tor of 28 years, Thomas Jaeger, said.

On July 1, he and six other in­de­pen­dent hair busi­nesses in the town cen­tre were sent $50 bills from the coun­cil for “an­nual sur­veil­lance of hair­dressers, beauty ther­a­pists and skin pen­e­tra­tion es­tab­lish­ments”.

Mr Jaeger said some of the in­spec­tions con­sisted of coun­cil staff who “came in, looked around, walked out”, and it was feared the fee could be raised to “$100 or $1000” in the fu­ture.

All the bar­bers and hair­dressers who re­fused to pay were sub­se­quently sent let­ters on July 8 and Oc­to­ber 22 that threat­ened coun­cil debt col­lec­tors would get the out­stand­ing fees.

Clare­mont act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Les Crichton said the $50 fee re­cov­ered part of two an­nual in­spec­tions for each busi­ness and was in­tro­duced this year so ratepay­ers did not fund “what is es­sen­tially a re­quire­ment of th­ese busi­nesses”.

Mr Crichton said food premises, pub­lic and pri­vate swim­ming pools, also paid for the ser­vice, us­ing the fee set by the coun­cil.

He said it was “nor­mal and ap­pro­pri­ate” that debt col­lec­tion was used when other meth­ods had been ex­hausted.

Tom’s Gen­tle­man’s Bar­ber owner Tom Davin said he wanted an ex­pla­na­tion for the fee.

“And what I don’t understand is why, all of a sud­den we get stuck with a bill for $50, when I’ve been here nine years,’ Suite Blonde hair­dress­ing owner Anita Green said.

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Thomas Jaeger, who has op­er­ated Jaeger Hair De­sign for 28 years, is out­raged that the coun­cil wants to charge hair­dressers and bar­bers a $50 in­spec­tion fee.

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