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Bikie blues could shut Kalgoorlie nightclub

Ashok and Marie Parekh

FIGHT CLUB: Ashok and Marie Parekh are facing problems over their hotel in Kalgoorlie. Source: PerthNow

KALGOORLIE'S only nightclub - co-owned by a vice president of the Australian Hotels Association WA - could be shut down amid claims of liquor licence breaches.

As revealed on the PerthNow iPad last night, police have filed a submission with the WA Liquor Commission calling for disciplinary sanctions against The Palace Hotel's Gold Bar and its owners Ashok and Marie Parekh, which moots changes to the club's liquor licence.

It is understood the submission includes allegations that security staff allowed bikies into the venue, failed to intervene during fights and did not alert police to disturbances when they should have.

Under the Liquor Control Act, venues can be shut down, suspended, have their licences cancelled or be fined for breaching conditions of the licence. Action may also be taken against individuals, including approved managers and company directors.

Mr Parekh, a vice president with the AHA WA, is a well-known businessman in Kalgoorlie and also runs an accounting firm in the Goldfields town. Both he and his lawyer Peter Fraser, of Dwyer Durack Lawyers, declined to comment.

The submission comes after police last week released a shame file of WA's most violent pubs and clubs, which nominated The Palace as the second most dangerous licensed venue in the state for bashings and assaults.

WA Police statistics show Burswood Entertainment Complex recorded more assaults than any other licensed venue in WA, with 56 attacks in the 10 months from January 1 to November 1 this year.

Kalgoorlie's Palace Hotel and Gold Bar recorded 27 assaults, while there were another 20 reported attacks specifically at Burswood's Eve nightclub.

Northbridge venues The Deen, Paramount Nightclub and Black Betty's also featured in the top 10 along with Metropolis Fremantle, The Pier Hotel in Port Hedland, Subiaco's Red Sea and Dusk Lounge in Joondalup.

The hit-list came as opposition police spokeswoman Margaret Quirk said there needed to be greater scrutiny of how the premises were managed and identifying possible causes for disagreements amongst patrons.

"When their licences come up for renewal the number and reasons for assaults should feature in consideration as to whether a renewal or additional conditions are appropriate,'' she said.

Police said most venues were willing to work with them on initiatives to minimise harm, including introducing tempered glassware to reduce the risk of violent glassing attacks, changing the style of music to encourage different, less problematic crowds, improving dress standards and better surveillance such as ID data tracking machines and CCTV.

For troublesome venues unwilling to introduce strategies to improve patron safety, police had applied to the WA Liquor Commission for licence restrictions.

A Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor spokesman said the WA Liquor Commission had received a complaint from police about the Gold Bar. The case is due to be heard by the commission in January.

An AHA WA spokesman confirmed that Mr Parekh was one of several vice presidents at the association, but declined to comment further because the matter was still under consideration by the commission.

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