30 Oct, 2014

Royal Croquet Club Update

Since July, Council’s Administration has been working through lease negotiations with the Royal Croquet Club (RCC) organisers, taking into account Councillors’ concerns regarding their successful ROI application. These negotiations have also been reflective of feedback received from various stakeholders and peak bodies such as the AHA, Restaurant & Catering Assoc, stakeholders around the Square including the Central Market, and traders groups, since April. The RCC event organisers have actively listened and are being responsive to all requests to date.

We’ve been engaging with these stakeholders to understand how events of all sizes can best operate in the Square while respecting the bricks and mortar traders in the area.

Council staff and the Attorney General’s Department have met on several occasions through the Liquor Licensing Accord group, which includes members of the AHA and the Restaurant and Catering Association, to address industry concerns regarding operating hours, noise levels and capacity for event organisers of Victoria Square.

In particular is Administration’s requirement, as reflected in the Hirer’s Guidelines for Victoria Square/Tarntanyanngga (June 2014) that this year’s event be first and foremost a Fringe performance venue as opposed to a bar. The increased footprint (both sides of the Square) is because the number of Fringe performance venues/spaces has grown from three in 2014 to seven for 2015, as has the number of performances, growing from 154 performances in 2014 to 518 for 2015. The venue has attracted a range of local, national and international Fringe performers. Venue capacity has not been increased.

We are negotiating open access to the site, road closures, opening hours and programming in line with the Council endorsed CLMP and Victoria Square guidelines. The organisers are working with the Attorney General’s Department in regards to licensing.

The Royal Croquet Club have paid normal rates to use the space as per our rates schedule, and will cover all costs for remediation and road closures.

In keeping with the Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga masterplan, it is a designated event space that will be used for major events about four times a year. Administration has the delegation to curate the Square.

We would be remiss if we weren’t activating the Square at Festival time, but it’s all about balance and we are confident we will achieve that with the RCC event. The Royal Croquet Club in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga has the potential to draw people and new audiences into and throughout the city, from the east to the west, bringing economic benefits to each district. We are also looking to work with traders in the area including hotels to offer dining and accommodation packages pre and post-performance.

We anticipate the lease negotiations will be finalised in the next 3-4 weeks.