Beam and other companies hoping hire e-scooters in the City of Rockingham will now face a massive trader’s permit fee after council increased the cost four-fold. Rockingham councillors met Tuesday night and agreed to create a standalone trader’s permit fee for e-scooter providers, raising the fee to $5000 per year, with all but Councillor Leigh Liley voting in favour. Until then, non-food traders were all charged the annual rate of $1216 for permits. The council report noted that across WA, hireable e-scooter permits range from $0 to $3000 as flat annual fees, with other States charging more to reflect the increased number of e-scooters able to operate. The estimated cost to the city is about $5700 per year, which takes into account the cost of administration work and officers’ wages. But the city did not say how it landed on the $5000 fee despite the upper echelon of fees in other local governments across WA being $3000. Mayor Deb Hamblin and Cr Caroline Hume were among those in favour of the permit increase, telling council they were “glad” to see it raised as the previous rate was “too low” for the amount of work city officers had undertaken during the trial period. It comes as micromobility firm Beam finish up their e-scooter trial next month, after the city issued a trading permit to the company in March last year. The council report included an overview of the trial, which revealed more than 18,000 individual riders travelled close to 205,000km. In that time, the city received 43 complaints about the e-scooters, nine of which were in the first month of the trial launching. Cr Liley expressed her concerns with hireable e-scooters in the area during Tuesday’s meeting, saying there had been plenty of near-misses and people knocked over by the “contentious” mode of transport. It comes after alarming statistics last month revealed almost 700 people in WA were fined for not wearing a helmet on e-scooters in the last 16 months, with paramedics responding to almost 10 e-scooter accidents a week. Beam will finish up its e-scooter trial on June 30, with a final decision on whether it will remain in the area expected to be made at a similar time.