Kings Cross Ink stink: council doesn't see police objection
June 5, 2012
After a council blunder, Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore will urge police to try to revoke a licence for Kings Cross Ink, a new venture with links to nightclub boss John Ibrahim.
City of Sydney councillors admitted at an emergency meeting last night that "human error" was to blame for the full council not being briefed before the approval to grant a licence to Mark Alexander-Erber, a business partner of Mr Ibrahim.
An 11-page objection letter submitted by Kings Cross police commander Superintendent Sue Waites was not seen by the full council, as a briefing note designed to prompt a wider discussion on the application was never issued as requested.
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A spokeswoman for the council said the DA was validly determined, as the police recommendations were taken into consideration in the approval process, with 36 conditions placed on the consent.
Police objected to the licence on a number of grounds, including that police intelligence alleged Mr Alexander-Erber was known for his bikie affiliations, a claim he has denied.
Superintendent Waites also submitted that Kings Cross was already rife with outlaw motorcycle gang activity, with "shootings, assaults, extortion and drug-related offences" having been tied to bikie members who associate with businesses in the red light district.
Mr Alexander-Erber and Mr Ibrahim intend to open what they told The Sun-Herald would be the biggest tattoo shop in the southern hemisphere - an emporium that celebrities, sport stars and tourists would visit.
Following the meeting, the council passed four recommendations, including one that Cr Moore write to Commissioner Andrew Scipione, "requesting he urgently review and report to the Director General of Fair Trading on any matters that would prevent the licensee of the proposed tattoo parlour at 61-65 Darlinghurst Road from holding a licence".
It also recommended the council's chief executive officer "commence a review of planning controls related to tattoo parlours, including consideration of anti-clustering provisions".
It also suggested the council chief executive officer review the provision of briefing notes following the error.
It is understood police are disappointed the council has not decided to review their decision to grant the licence, but intend to investigate other avenues of action under their new powers.
Under laws announced by Premier Barry O'Farrell in April, bikies are banned from owning tattoo parlours in NSW, with the new licensing regime also giving the Police Commissioner the power to refuse tattoo parlour licences.
Bikies are also now prohibited from wearing their colours at all licensed venues in Sydney's popular nightclub district of Kings Cross.