CITY of Perth commissioners have signalled an easing of the council’s alfresco policy.

Council staff wanted to keep the existing policy and an annual $40 per sqm fee, but commissioner Andrew Hammond moved they have the policy “peer reviewed”.

He told this week’s council meeting the process could be streamlined and “the costs could be limited somewhat….the city should not find itself at a competitive disadvantage to other areas, because we want our businesses to thrive and we want our streets activation”.

Last week Perth state MP John Carey took aim at Perth’s admin for its old-fashioned approach to alfresco dining. Other councils like Vincent and Bayswater have scrapped their fees, encouraging restaurants to add a bit of life to the street.

At the start of the meeting, chair commissioner Eric Lumsden made clear the tail wasn’t wagging the dog at council HQ: He said the council staff presented recommendations at briefing sessions, but they weren’t set in stone until commissioners voted on them at the full council meeting.

“Commissioners are not here to rubber stamp any recommendation,” he said.

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