Bikie neighbours a worry for clinic
Clarkson Family Practice owners Ernst and Estelle Eiselen.
CLARKSON medical practice owners Ernst and Estelle Eiselen have raised concerns with Wanneroo City Council about an outlaw motorcycle gang using a warehouse next door to their family practice.
The council will reconsider a retrospective application from owners associated with the Rebels Motorcycle Club to change the permitted use to include a club at its next meeting in August, after a recommendation on July 24 failed to get majority support.
Owners of an adjacent medical practice gave deputations objecting to the clubhouse prior to the council meeting.
Ernst Eiselen said he established his practice two years ago, with plans to later introduce an after-hours service, so was concerned about having a clubhouse next door.
“The club would mostly operate after hours,” he said.
Dr Eiselen said patients had already called with concerns about activity in the adjacent building, and that evidence of alcohol being served at a bar facility inside the warehouse was visible in the rubbish area outside.
His wife and practice manager Estelle said the medical centre was in a Medicare-recognised area of need for GP services.
“In the last two years it’s shown a huge need,” she said.
“We need to extend our hours in the evening as well as after hours.”
Mrs Eiselen said she was also concerned about the availability of parking for staff and patients.
During the meeting, Cr Laura Gray moved the motion recommending approval with conditions.
“I support administration’s recommendation – it’s based on sound planning principles,” she said.
Cr Gray said she also understood the “serious social implications” of what would take place on the premises, but if the council did not move the motion, it could end up in the State Administrative Tribunal and be approved without the preferred conditions.
Speaking on behalf of “residents, businesses and police”, Cr Ian Goodenough said he was strongly against approving the clubhouse use.
“I have been advised of the planning and legalistic reasons why something cannot be done (but) numerous objections have been received from our community,” he said.
“It is a sad day…when our legal system is being used by fringe groups against the interests of the wider community (and) council is expected to disregard any record of criminal behaviour by the organisation in this area.”
Mayor Tracey Roberts said another concern was the location of the clubhouse on Caloundra Way, about 200m from the Clarkson Youth Centre and adjacent skate park.
Cr Gray was the only councillor who voted in favour of the recommendation. Administration will present another report to council at its August 21 meeting.
Rebels Motorcycle Club did not respond to requests for comment before the Times went to print.
Past assaults at bike club
THERE have been issues, including assaults, at a warehouse used as a clubhouse by Rebels Motorcycle Gang associates, North West Metropolitan Superintendent Charlie Carver says.
Supt Carver told the Times the club had been identified as the source of a couple of assaults, including one in which three people were assaulted with baseball bats, in the six months the club has used the premises.
He said that while Wanneroo City Council dealt with the planning issues, policing was more about community safety.
“There’s been a few issues, it’s been raided once or twice,” he said.
“It will continue to happen as long as it’s there. We will continue to police them quite heavily.”