STRIPPED: Zelda’s and iBar closed

CLARE NEGUS and TAYISSA BARONESound Telegraph

The WA Liquor Commission has stripped Rockingham strip club Zelda’s and iBar of its licence and its owner Kevin Mann has been permanently disqualified from holding a licence.

The ruling was handed down on Monday after WA Police set out a “comprehensive history of complaints” to the commission.

Mr 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 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.

Rockingham City Council had spent about $250,000 on legal bills during the past three years on the complaints about Zelda’s.

Mr Mann had successfully appealed those complaints, forcing the council to foot his legal bills.

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the council felt vindicated by the Commission’s ruling.

“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 yesterday be seen stuck on the club’s wall and is believed to relate to unpaid rent.

Mr Mann has been contacted for comments.

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