Plans for 'booze-free' areas at pubs

Booze-free zones in pubs might become a thing.
Booze-free zones in pubs might become a thing.

NEW pubs in Fremantle may soon have to earmark space for non-drinking uses to prevent the port city from becoming an "alcohol destination".

The City of Fremantle has asked its administration to come up with a policy to give the council more discretion over planning applications for taverns and hotels.

In particular, the council wants the power to ensure there is "an appropriate mix of complementary land uses".

Deputy mayor Ingrid Waltham said people enjoyed coming to Fremantle for a drink, but that should not be the only reason people visited. "We don't want alcohol to be the only reason people come to Fremantle," she said. "We don't want to become an alcohol destination."

Cr Waltham said it was not about limiting the number of pubs or being "wowsers", but about giving the council more discretion and the community peace of mind that "the city's not going to be taken over by large drinking barns".

"It is also to reassure the community that if this goes through we can have that little bit of control to maintain our strategic imperatives, which are to have diversity, not a monoculture of alcohol but to have a wide range of attractions that people come to the city for," she said.

"Because more and more people are moving into the city to live, they obviously have their concerns about noise and anti-social behaviour and all of that.

"But I think every city in the world battles with getting that balance right between having people living in the city, which is really important, and having a vibrant, thriving hospitality industry as well."

The policy would apply to taverns and hotels, not small bars or restaurants.

The final policy has yet to be determined, but Cr Waltham suggested someone wanting to open a big tavern could be required to set aside "30, 40 or 50 per cent" of the land for other uses, such as accommodation or another entertainment use.

Cr Waltham proposed the policy change at Fremantle's last council meeting, where it was unanimously endorsed by councillors.

Any final policy will still need to be approved by the council.

Topics:  alcohol laws booze-free areas editors picks freemantle pubs zoning laws

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