Relaxed Freo bar rules should stay: mayor
Relaxed Freo bar rules should stay: mayor

The relaxed bar laws in place in Fremantle for the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships have been so successful they should be made permanent, Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt says.

"Everything I've seen so far says it's been a success," Mr Pettitt said. "It proves my point that if you give people responsibility they will behave responsibly."

Mr Pettitt said the trial, involving 14 restaurants, had brought an adult, European style of drinking to the streets of Fremantle.

"It's about getting the sensible people back out on to the streets of Freo," he said.

The new flexible rules have been in place since November 26 and were brought in at the behest of ISAF organisers who feared WA liquor laws could confuse and embarrass international guests.

The new rules apply to 14 licensed restaurants that are authorised to serve alcohol without a meal.

Mr Pettitt says he will be making representations to Liquor and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron to keep the measures in place beyond December 24 when the rules are to be revoked.

"The State Government has indicated it's in favour of taking a more mature view of drinking laws in Fremantle, but despite political will blockages still exist in the public sector where acceptance to change has been slower," Mr Pettitt said.

When the new rules were announced in October, Mr Waldron said he would "monitor how this goes", with a view to a more permanent relaxation.

Kelp Bar at the Kidogo Art Gallery has been open for six days and owner Joanna Robertson said it has been a hit. "It's been a sensation," she said. "All the Fremantle mob is hanging out here. They're all saying 'at last'."

Kelp Bar is on the beach at Bathers Bay and has become a must-do sunset bar for locals and yachties. It serves two cocktails, a short list of wines and a range of beers and has a nightly barbecue on the beach.

Ms Robertson said if the council allowed it to keep operating as a bar she would "love to keep it going all summer". Ciccerello's owner Henry Liascos said the new rules paved the way for sensible drinking. "We don't want the beer swilling thing going on here, because we're all about the food," he said. "It just makes sense to give people the option of popping in for a drink."

'It proves my point

that if you give

people responsibility they will behave responsibly.'"Fremantle mayor *Brad Pettitt *

The West Australian

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