Trust keeps Fly’s grog licence

THE National Trust has stopped the Fly by Night Musician’s Club from transferring its liquor licence from its former Parry Street venue to its new home at Victoria Hall.

The Trust, which owns the Parry Street drill hall, is holding onto the licence in case Sunset Events falters in its bid to get its own when it moves in. That has Fly manager John Reid fuming.

He says it was just a couple of weeks ago that the Trust had implored his not-for-profit club to sign a memorandum-of-understanding with its new concert promoter tenant to support each other’s liquor applications.

Mr Reid says his board responded it couldn’t legally sign an MOU but had been happy to support Sunset’s application. He’s gobsmacked by the Trust’s refusal to hand over the licence. He says the Fly will now have to apply for a new one, and achieving it is no sure thing.

Trust flak-catcher Gina Pickering wouldn’t be drawn on whether her organisation had betrayed the Fly’s trust, saying only the licence was tied to the drill hall: “In terms of the liquor licence and dealing with attaining them, my understanding—and I have spoken to the deputy CEO about this—is that in this aspect with the Fly moved out it terminated an active licence and in that regard if you have an inactive licence it becomes suspended.” To prevent the licence lapsing, the Trust had had to place a protection order over it.

Mr Reid suffered another scare when negotiating the Fly’s lease on Vic Hall with Fremantle council, discovering it wants the venue for 23 full days for its own use; he’d assumed the council had meant it only wanted the venue a few hours each time.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says it’s still all under negotiation and if the clause is a deal-breaker the council can compromise.


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