A Rockingham nightclub that celebrated a victory last month after a four-year legal battle with the Liquor Commission has been closed and the owner stripped of his liquor licence.
Kevin Mann, director of Zelda's Nightclub licensee Tocoan Pty Ltd and the club's manager, was found this week not to be a fit and proper person by the Liquor Commission after he trivialised several serious incidents at the club.
The commission said Mr Mann demonstrated an "anachronistic attitude" about how the club should be run and it was concerned the continuing implication that Zelda's was "different and different rules/standards should apply".
In his submissions, Mr Mann said: "The town has been declared the 'bogan' capital of WA and as much as the city and some people in the area won't accept it, it is just how it is."
Last week, Mr Mann argued that Rockingham was no Hollywood but locals were still entitled to nightclubs. Zelda's was temporarily shut in 2012 after two bikie-related assaults in or outside the premises in 2011.
The commission found a "clear nexus between the premises and the level of violence and antisocial behaviour" in the area based on police figures.
In an area 250m around Zelda’s police attendances declined by 35 per cent between 2011 and 2012, after the premises ceased trading) and increased 94 per cent between 2012 and 2013 when they resumed trading.
It also said an attitude which accepts violence and anti-social behaviour as “just how it is” was fundamentally incompatible with that required by any licensee in current day WA.
Rockingham mayor Barry Sammels said the city felt vindicated by the decision.
“The City has always maintained that there was proper cause for disciplinary action… on the basis of the sustained and vehement concerns raised by residents, and other business operators, in the vicinity of Zelda’s night club,” he said.
Opposition Leader and member for Rockingham Mark McGowan said he was pleased with the ruling.
“Rockingham is a wonderful community, full of decent, hardworking people,” he said.
“I reject Mr Mann’s commentary regarding the people of Rockingham.”
A notice of termination of Mr Mann's lease of the Kent Street premises could be seen on Zelda's wall yesterday and is believed to relate to unpaid rent.