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Kebabs kept out of court

Thursday, 30th September, 2010

Late Night Kebab manager Russell Ray outside the Oxide Street take-away Late Night Kebab manager Russell Ray outside the Oxide Street take-away

By Stefan Delatovic

City Council is hoping to sort out its Late Night Kebab problems without resorting to legal action.

The Oxide Street business has refused to stick to its approved opening hours, staying open until 4am on weekends when, under a six month trial, it is required to close at 1am on Friday and Saturday nights. 

That saw Late Night Kebab slapped with a $3,000 fine, which resulted in Council being labeled heavy handed by members of the public andeven a City Councillor. Councillors discussed the matter in private at last night’s monthly meeting, when they considered a report on potential legal action. 

Jamie Tumanic, one of Late Night Kebab’s owners, asked the meeting at the outset whether Council was seeking a court injunction to have the business closed completely. 

Mayor Wincen Cuy said he wouldn’t comment as the matter was confidential, but General Manager Frank Zaknich confirmed that was because it pertained to litigation. 

Susan Calleia, who described herself as a resident of 44 years, said the $3,000 fine was “not acceptable” and that Council should be supporting new business. She said Council should talk the issue out rather than hand out a fine. 

Council ultimately agreed. The elected body last night decided that the General Manager would meet with the business to try and resolve the outstanding issues without further legal action being necessary.

Mr Tumanic said he was happy with the decision for the time being. “I’ve been advocating for this from the start ... to work closely with Council and to be advised of our obligations,” he said.

He was pleased the business was not being forced to close, as that would cost jobs. “We’ve had a huge amount of support. We’ve had people coming in just to sign our petition,” he said. 

Mr Tumanic said there had been no problems at the business, despite its late opening hours. “We’re the first ones keen to keep the peace,” he said. “This pre-emptive approach is not good for the community, why not at least wait until there is a problem before trying to fix it?”

Mr Zaknich said he would meet with the business owners before the end of the week. “We are looking to ensure that Council takes a reasonable approach and that the business complies with its obligations, and to give some time to work out these outstanding issues.”

There were two outstanding matters, Mr Zaknich said, the first being opening hours. The business now had an opportunity to have Council review its opening hours, Mr Zaknich said.

The other matter related to “completion of construction internally” in the food preparation area, carpark and to do with lighting. Mr Zaknich said minimum standards had to be met, and that Council was looking to finalise matters as a matter of urgency.

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